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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Arnold Band

Dr. Arnold Band
2012-2013 A. Savitt Fellowship

"The Agnon/Appelfeld Nexus in Israeli Literature"

Professional Background

Dr. Arnold Band is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, University of California at Los Angeles (USA). He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 1959. During his career, he has taught at Harvard College, Boston Hebrew College, Brandeis University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Yale University. Dr. Band conducted research on his project entitled: “The Agnon/Appelfeld Nexus in Israeli Literature” while in residence at the Center.

Dr. Band’s publications include, HaRe'i Bo'er Ba'esh (Hebrew Poetry) 1963; Nostalgia and Nightmare: The Fiction of S.J.Agnon (1968); The Tales of Nahman of Bratzlav (1976); Studies in Jewish Literature (2004) JPS; El Lissitzky’s HAD GADYA, Ed. (2004) Getty Research Center; She’elot Nikhbadot. (Collection of Hebrew Essays) Ben Gurion U.,(2007); I Will Wake The Dawn (co-author: contributor of literary analysis of 36 Psalms) (2007). He also has a collection of over 50 articles in Hebrew and English on a variety of topics in modern Jewish literature and cultural life that are available upon request.

Dr. Band is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including Doctorate, Honoris Causae, from Hebrew College in Boston, Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, University of Judaism, in Los Angeles, and Baltimore Hebrew Union. Fellowships have included the Guggenheim, the Friedman Award, the Skirball from Oxford Center in Jewish Studies, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Kreitman Distinguished Scholar Award from Ben Gurion University, and the Dickson Emeritus Professor Award. In 2000, Dr. Band was cited as one of “Top-Twenty UCLA Professors of the Twentieth Century,” in UCLA Today.

He has trained numerous Ph.D. candidates and has served in a variety of educational and editorial capacities in the US and abroad most notably as President of the Association for Jewish Studies, and the Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA.

Fellowship Research

For his Robert A. Savitt Fellowship, Dr. Band sought a clear nexus between Hebrew writers S. Y. Agnon and Aharon Appelfeld in order to establish a literary continuum in Israeli literature. He hopes this effort will undermine what he sees as a misconception of Israeli literature, i.e., a lack of concern with the Shoah in the early Israeli state. Author S. Y. Agnon (1887-1970) is recognized as the leading Hebrew prose writer of the 20th century, yet Appelfeld, who is universally recognized as the most significant Holocaust Writer in Hebrew, and whose success was due, in part, to his skillful appropriation of the writing techniques and themes of Agnon, argues that Agnon’s writings had little influence on him. Despite this claim, Dr. Band research shows that Agnon’s writing did impact Applefeld’s writing, and that Appelfeld should thus be understood as an integral part of the development of Israeli, Hebrew literature and not as an outlier, unaffected by any aspect of the Israeli culture. During his residence at the Center, Dr. Band also wrote a lengthy analysis of Agnon’s Ir umelo’ah in order to draw attention to this much neglected classic of Shoah literature.

Dr. Arnold Band was in residence at the Center from April 1 to June 30, 2013.