Prof. Bilha Melman

Emeritus in Department of History
The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies
חוג להסטוריה כללית אמריטוס
Prof. Bilha Melman
Phone: 03-6409785
Fax: 03-6406229
Office: Gilman-humanities, 192


Billie Melman is Professor of Modern History, Henri Glasberg Chair of European Studies, a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and was Director of the School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her fields of teaching and research have been British and Western European cultural and social history, popular culture with an  emphasis on visual and material history, and colonialism and gender. She has written extensively on colonialism and culture, orientalism and cross cultural relations in the age of modern empires, on gender, on total war and on collective memory, popular representations of the past and on the history of London. .

Billie Melman received her BA in History (Summa Cum Laude) at Tel Aviv University and her Ph.D. at University College, University of London. She was awarded the Landau Prize for the Sciences and Research (Landau Foundation) in 2006, was Allon Fellow between 1986 and 1990, Visiting Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University (1990-91),  Associate and Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of   atMichigan (1993-4) and Remarque Fellow at NYU (2018). She is Fellow of the Royal Historican Society . Time Out described her as “A teacher for life. One of the best five lecturers at Tel Aviv University”.

She was a founding member and the first Chair of the Section of Gender and Women’s History of the Historical Society of Israel. She has lectured at various universities, including the universities of Harvard, Berkeley, NYU, Michigan, Southern California, Illinois at Urbana, Brandeis, Cambridge, University of London, Sussex University, Bristol, FU Berlin, Nicosia and Prague. She participated in the NHIST project of the European Science Foundation (“Representations of the Past: The Writing of National Histories in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe”, ESF). She was editor of Historia and is a member of the editorial board of History and Memory and Zmanim.

Academic Interests

modern imperialism and colonialism and culture (with an emphasis on Britain and the British Empire), popular culture , visual urban cultures, the history of London and Paris, representations of the past and collective memory, World War 1, gender.


Academic Education

1972-76 B.A. in History, Tel Aviv University, Summa Cum Laude (awarded 1978)

1977-79 Graduate studies, Tel Aviv University, Modern History, direct Ph.D. track

1980-84 Ph.D., University College, University of London.

Title of Doctoral Dissertation: “Superfluous Woman, Flapper, Nymph: Women and the Popular Imagination, 1918-1928” Supervisor: John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor of English Literature and Language, University College, University of London.



Professional  Experience

2021-UAI-Union Academique Internationale, delegate-member

2021- GISFOH German-Israeli Frontiers of the Humanities Symposia- Convenor

2018- Remarque Fellow, Remarque Institute, NYU


2017-2018- Young Scholars' Forum in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, "Empires: -Colonialism, Culture and Power from the 15the Century to the Present"

2016- Elected member of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

2016- Member, Dan David Prize  Review Committee, Past Category

2015-2019-Member, TAU Senior Appointments' Committee

2014-Fellow, RHS

2014-2016-Member, TAU University Committee on Doctorants

2014-Member, Academic Committee, Israel Institute of Advnaced Studies, Hebrew Univeristy of Jerusalem

2014-Member, Committee on Humanities and the Arts (Malag--Higher Education Board)

2014-Tel Aviv University, Member of the Senate

2013 -14  Member, TAU Steering Strategic Committee

2011- 2013 Tel Aviv University, Member of the Board of Governors

2012 - Rector Lectures: "Paris and London: The Biographies of Two Cities, 1800-2012"

2010-Editor, Historia (Journal of the Historical Soceity of Israel)
2006-2010 Tel Aviv University, Member of the Senate 

2008 - 2013 Tel Aviv University, Director, School of Historical Studies

2005- Tel Aviv University, Professor of History

1998- Tel Aviv University, Associate Professor of History

1993-94 University of Michigan, Institute for the Humanities, Associate, Norman Freehling Visiting Professor

1991-97 Tel Aviv University, Senior Lecturer in Modern History

1990-91 Harvard University, Visiting Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies

1986-1991 Tel Aviv University, Alon Fellow and Lecturer in Modern History

1984-86 Tel Aviv University, Visiting Lecturer in History

1979-80 Tel Aviv University, Teaching and Research Assistant in History

1978-79 Tel Aviv University, Teaching Assistant in History



Research Students


A Select List
PhD dissertations supervised:

Dror Sharon, Ninos and Kinder Refugee Children in the United Kingdom, 1937-1951

Zohar Sapir-Dvir, A Mobile Empire: the French Mediterranean, Modernity and Mobility between the Two World Wars, 2019- : 

Shira Pinhas, Oil- Pipes and Army Camps: Empire, Gender, Ethnicity and Labour Relations in Mandatory Palestine, 2015-

Elia Etkin, Neighbors, Neighborhoods and Neighborly Relations - Urban Life in Palestine/Israel, Circa 1940-1960, 2013-2019

Hadas Fisher-Rosenberg, Total War in an Imperial Periphery: WW2 in Palestine - Government, Society and Culture, 2013-

Noa Kaufman, Little Irelands: Representations of Irishness in Britain: 1880-1945, 2011-

18-Hagit Krik, Colonial Lives in Palestine, 1920-1948: British Society and Culture in a Mandate Territory, 2010

2017 -Lee Michael, Representing Murder in London, 1880-1914, 2009-

2018 -Hemi Sheinblat, "Catching America": The Americanization of Israeli Society 1958-1967, 2009-

Sivan Blaslev, Changing Masculinities in Iran: Gender, Class, Nationalism and Modernization, circa 1870-1940, 2008-2015

Atalia Shragai, Over the Rainbow: Migration, Lives and Identifications among U.S. Citizens at Costa Rica, 1945-1980, 2007- 2014

Moshe Elhanati, Respectable Displays: The Industrial Exhibitions of Working People-Leisure, Hobby and Self-Representation, Britain 1864-1873, 2002-2008

Dafna Hirsh, "We are Here to Bring the West" - Hygiene Education in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine, 2001-2006

Liora Hendelman Baavur, The Gender of Modernity: the Women's Press and Representation of Women in Iranian Popular Culture 1963-1979, 2000-2006


 Post-Docs recently supervised

Barbara Gribling (Ph.D.  University of York), "Selling the Middle Ages in British Popular Culture", 2013-2014

Tal Zalmanovitch (PhD, Rutgers Univesity), "The Digital Aftermath of TV: Technology and the Past in Britain circa 1950 to the Present", 2014-2015

Maude Bass- Kreuger (PhD, Bard College Center), "Dress History and New Materialisms in France: Thinking, Displaying and Wearing Historic Dress in 19th Century France". from October 2015

Jonathan Furas (PhD, Oxford University, St Anthony's College), "Old Arabs, New Arabs: Race, Nation and Progress in History Textbooks in Mandatory Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq". from October 2015 

Allegra Fryxell (PhD, Cambridge University, Gonville and Caius College), " Colour Consciousness: The -

Transcendental Metaphysics of European Modernism 1900-1939",  2017

Shira Wilkof (Phd, University of California Berkeley), "City and Ecology: Expert Networks and The Post War Search for Environmental Internationalism", 2018-2019

MA dissertations supervised (A Select List)


 Basmat Kislev, Englishness and National Consumption in Britian in the Long 1950s

Iddo Epsstien, Gardens and Botanics in Mandate Palestine

 Dan Walfish, Asociation and Empire P.J.C A. and the Afforestation of the Cesarea Dunes in the 1920s

-Ariel Goldfarb, Like a Mystical Storm Emotional Internationalism in Britian between the Two World Wars

 Sharon Gil, Faceless Soldiers: Face Masques, Gas Masques and the First World War   

 Tsuf Plotkin, Sound of Men: Masculinity and Fndom in Britian in the 1950s and 1960s


-Josefa Weintraub, Gendering Medicine: Feminism, the Female Body and British Women Circa 1960-1990, 2018-2020 

Meny Friedman, Ramla,: A Social and Cultural History - 1948-1962, 2017

-2018 -Leore-Joanne Green, The Butterly Hunters; Victorian and Edwardian Lepidopterists, 2016

Zohar Sapir Dvir, Renault Crosses the Sahara--Place, Symbolism and Challenges: French Men and Masculinity in the Interwar Era, 2016-

-2019 -Oded Feuerstein,Imperial Herocics and Territoriality in Late 19th Century Britain, 2015

Adi Trudler, The Cavendish Hotel, London-- A Cultural History: Leisure and Tourism in the First Half of the 20th  -Century, 2014-2017-

 Uri Schroeter, Paris Qui Jaz: Music, Race and Culture, 1920-25, 2014-2017

Avner Tsamir, Milk: A Cultural History of a "National" Drink - Palestine, Circa 1920 - 1948, 2013-

Elia Etkin, "Wonder of Wonders Zoo, There is No Zoo Like You", The Tel-Aviv Zoo, 1938-1958, 2011- 2013

Hadas Fischer-Rosenberg, Well-Dressed Men: Gender, Nationality and Empire in Urban Jewish Palestine, 1920-1948, 2011- 2013

Ruth Fleishman, "Keen on Sports, Tall with Dark Hair": Hegemonic Masculinity, Representations of the Male Body and the Practice of Masculinity in Interwar England (1919-1939), 2009-2011

 Barak Nagar-Levi, Between Man and Animal: Nature, Imperialism and Hegemony in British and Hollywood Films of the 1930's and 1940's, 2008-2011

Uri Katz, The Great Buffalo Massacre: Environment and Hunting in Nineteenth Century US, 2006-2009

Hemi Sheinblat, Another Landscape of Childhood – Popular Juvenile Literature in Israel, 1958-1965, 2006-2009

Haggai Grady, "To Return Music to the People": Opera and Oratorio in Hebrew in Mandate Palestine, 1921-27

Atalia Shragai, United Fruit Company Workers in Costa Rica: Colonialism and Culture, 2004-2006

Yossi Malki, Modernism, Nationality and Society: The Beginning of Hebrew Aviation in Palestine–Eretz Yisrael, 1932 – 1940, 2003-2006

Asia Lev, Reading and Writing Crime: Representations of Murder in English Fiction 1830-60, 2001-2003

Naama Shik, Women's Experiences in Autobiographies of Survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau 1947-2000, 2000-2004

Moshe Elhanati, Engineers and Gentlemen from Optimism to Gentlemanly Capitalism, England Circa 1840-70, 1999-2001

Tamar Razi, "The Girl of the Period: Girlhood and Female Adolescence in Victorian Britain, 1994-1997

Inna Shtasker, The Women's Problem in Liberal and Radical Movements in Russia-1832-1870, 1994-1997

Eyal Amir, Working Class Housing in Britain Circa 1902-1930, 1990-1992




 B. Melman with Stefan Berger  and Chris Lorenz  (eds.), Popularizing National Pasts, 1800 to the Present, London, Routledge, 2012

B. Melman, London, 1800-­1960: People, place and Empire, Tel ­Aviv, IDF Publications,Broadcast University (based on a series of thirteen radio lectures) [Hebrew], 2009, Second Edition 2014

B. Melman, The Culture of History: English Uses of the Past, 1800-­1953, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 2006
For a description of the book click here For reviews click here and scroll down

B. Melman, Women’s Orients: English Women and the Middle East 1718­-1918­ Sexuality, Religion and Work, Second Revised and Extended Edition, London, Macmillan, 1995

(Chapter 11 reprinted in , Orientalism: A Reader, Alexander Lyon Macfie (ed.) New York, New York University Press, 2001)

B. Melman, Women’s Orients: English Women and the Middle East 1718­-1918 ­Sexuality, Religion and Work, London, Macmillan, 1992

B. Melman (ed.), Borderlines: Genders and Identities in War and Peace 1870­-1930, New York and London, Routledge, 1998

B. Melman, Women and the Popular Imagination in the Twenties: Flappers and Nymphs, London, Macmillan, 1988

Recent Articles

Billie melman, "Ur: Empire, Modernity  and the Visualization of Antiquity between the Two World , Wars", Representations,  Feb. 2019

Billie Melman, "Horror and Pleasure: History, Culture and Modernity in the Long Nineteenth Century", Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Proceedings, vol. 9, no.8, 177-205, 2013.

Billie Melman, "The Power of the Past: History and Modernity in the Victorian World" in Martin Hewitt ed., The Victorian World, New York and London, Routledge repr. 2013.

Billie Melman, "The Bull of Nineveh: Antiquity and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Britian" in Barbara Korte and Sylvia Paletschek (eds.), Popular History Now and Then, Historische Lebenswelten in popularen Wissenskulturen-History in Paopular Cultures,  Bielefeld, Transcript Verlag, 2012. 

Billie Melman, "Horror and Pleasures. Visual Histories, Sensationalism and Modernity", Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 37:1, 2011, 26-46



Full List of Publications





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