Open University of Israel
Charles W. and Sally Rothfeld Fellowship

Research Topic

Late Ottoman Mizrahi Writing: Questions on Modernism, Secularism, and Literary Form


Keren Dotan focuses on modern Mizrahi literature, with a special emphasis on Hebrew Mizrahi literature at the end of the Ottoman era and the beginning of the British Mandate (19th and 20th centuries). She previously taught at Sapir College and the Open University of Israel. Currently, she is an editor at Kav Adom Books, part of Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House. She has written for various publications, including Ha’aretz, Mitaamynet, and Israel Hayom, where she still writes

Dotan received her PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and her previous degrees (LLB, BA, MA) from Tel Aviv University.

Selected publications

  • “Writing Modernity from The East: Secularism, tradition, and modernism in Yitzhaq Shami,” Mikan (Hebrew; 2017)
  • Editor, with Chen Strauss, Critical Essays on Yehoshua Kenaz—The Beauty of the Defeated (Hebrew; Am Oved and Heksherim Institute of Ben Gurion University, 2016)



Delving into the meaning of modernity beyond the European, American, and Israeli contexts, looking instead to North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central and South Asia.