Prof. Halperin is Professor of International Studies and History, and Distinguished Endowed Chair of Jewish Studies, at the University of Washington. She is an historian of Israel/Palestine with particular interests in nationalism and collective memory, Jewish cultural and social history, language ideology and policy, and the politics of colonization and settlement. She is currently working on a book about descendants of the urban Jewish communities of late Ottoman Palestine and their role in land settlement and the growth of the Zionist project.
She is the author of The Oldest Guard: Forging the Zionist Settler Past (Stanford, 2021), a study of the European Jewish agricultural colonies established in late nineteenth-century Ottoman Palestine and the politics of their twentieth-century commemoration. She is also the author of Babel in Zion: Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948 (Yale, 2015), which was was awarded the Shapiro Prize from the Association for Israel Studies for the best book in Israel Studies. She has published academic articles in The Journal of Social History, Jewish Social Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, The Jewish Quarterly Review, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, among other venues.
- Liora R. Halperin, The Oldest Guard: Forging the Zionist Settler Past (Stanford University Press, 2021)
- “Past Perfect: Jewish Memories of Language and the Politics of Arabic in Mandate Palestine,” in Heleen Murre-van den Berg et al., Arabic and its Alternatives: Religious minorities and their languages in the emerging nation states of the Middle East (1920-1950) (Leiden: Brill, 2020), pp. 228-256.
- “Forging beginnings: Commemorative cultures and the politics of the “First Aliyah” Journal of Israeli History 38:1 (2020) Special Issue on Beginnings and Endings: Narration and Emplotment in the History of Zionism and the State of Israel, 53-76.
- Liora R. Halperin, "Trading Secrets: Constructions and Contexts of Two Middle Eastern Jewish Guards in the Early Petah Tikva Agricultural Colony," International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (2019): 1-22.
- Liora R. Halperin, "Petah Tikva, 1886: Gender, Anonymity, and the Making of Zionist Memory," Jewish Social Studies, 23:1 (Fall 2017): 1-28 Download PDF
- “Majority and Minority Languages in the Middle East: The Case of Hebrew in Mandate Palestine,” in Minorities in the Arab World, ed. Laura Robson, (Syracuse University Press, 2016), 174-190. Download PDF
- "A Murder in the Grove: Conceptions of Justice in an Early Zionist Colony," Journal of Social History 49:2 (2015): 427-451. Download PDF
- Liora R. Halperin Babel in Zion: Jews, Nationalism and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948 (Yale University Press, 2015).
Division: Africa and the Middle East
Students may work with Prof. Halperin to develop a field focused on the history of Modern Israel/Palestine. This field will situate Palestine/Israel within both Middle East and Jewish historiography, with the particular emphasis depending on the student’s research and teaching objectives. It will draw together works in both Israel Studies and Palestine Studies, pertaining to cultural, economic, social, political, and intellectual history.
Division: Europe, Africa and the Middle East, or Russia
Students may develop a field with Prof. Halperin on Jewish history during the Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern periods. This can be structured as primarily a Europe or Russia field or as primarily a Middle East field, but will in any case explore interrelations between these fields and, secondarily, between these fields other world regions. This field may examine the evolution of relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims; Jews and the state; forms and challenges of emancipation; commercial networks; cultural, linguistic, and social history; the history of anti-Judaism and antisemitism; and Jewish contact with and entanglements with colonial and imperial projects.
Division: Comparative History (Comparative Colonialisms)
Students may develop a field with Prof. Halperin that explores variants of modern colonialism in global perspective; the interplay of colonialism, civic nationalism, and ethnonationalism; the economic history of empire; and the emergence of the field of settler colonial studies.
Division: Comparative History (Ethnicity and Nationalisms)
Students may develop a field with Prof. Halperin exploring modern ethnonational movements in comparative perspective with particular emphasis on Europe (including Eastern and South Eastern Europe), the Middle East, and South Asia. This field may integrate readings on language revival efforts, cultural movements, anti-imperial nationalisms, and the emergence of the nation-state system and concepts of autonomy, minority rights, partition, and migration.