Ben-Gurion University
Jody Ellant and Howard Reiter Family Fellowship

Research Topic

John Braham, Sacred Tenor


Uri Erman is a cultural historian of Britain and Western Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His research focuses on the public discourse about performers—actors and singers—as a central site for the negotiation of personal and group identity in modernity, particularly regarding perceptions of gender, class, and ethnic identity. He has a Ph.D. in History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a dissertation titled “The Castrato, the Jew, and the Prima Donna: British Singers in the Public Discourse, 1760–1830.” His research also examines the power dynamic that had developed between actresses and male nobles in eighteenth-century Britain. He has held fellowships previously at the Open University and at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. 

Selected publications

“Jews and Operatic Vocality,” in Routledge Companion to Voice and Identity, ed. F. Jarman, A. Skjerseth, and N. André (Routledge, forthcoming). 

“The Singing Cat: British Audiences, Angelica Catalani, and the Threat of Opera,” in The Visual Life of Romantic Theatre, ed. T. Robinson and D. Piccitto (University of Michigan Press, 2023). 

“The Operatic Voice of Leoni the Jew: Between the Synagogue and the Theater in Late Georgian Britain,” Journal of British Studies 56.2 (2017).



This year is devoted to the study of sound and music as a part of Jewish life, and we are delighted to announce the cohort of scholars who will join us for a year of research, conversation, and engagement with the Penn community and with the public.