Joseph Benatov

Photo Of Joseph Benatov Standing In Front Of A Painted Wall

Lecturer in Foreign Languages, HebrewCoordinator, Modern Hebrew Language Program

712 Williams Hall


Joseph Benatov is the coordinator of the Modern Hebrew Language Program, as well as the Associate Program Director of Jewish Studies. He holds a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is titled “Looking in the Iron Mirror: Eastern Europe in the American Imaginary, 1958-2001.” He has also written on Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth’s early fiction; the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain; and competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. Dr. Benatov is the English translator of the contemporary Bulgarian novel Zift (Paul Dry Books). His translation of Etgar Keret's latest short story collection was published in Bulgaria in 2020. He has also translated Israeli poetry, fiction, and drama. His translations of plays by Hanoch Levin, Martin McDonagh, and Ethan Coen were all staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Dr. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in Bulgaria and on the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe (University of Nebraska Press). He teaches Hebrew courses of all levels.