Prof. Yael Sternhell

Department of History
Department of English and American Studies
חוג להסטוריה כללית סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Yael Sternhell
Phone: 03-6405042
Office: Webb - School of Languages, 508


My fields of interest include the American Civil War and its long aftermath, the American South, and the social history of archives.  My first book, Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South, (Harvard University Press, 2012) is an interpretation of the Civil War in the South as an experience of physical mobility and the many different ways through which mobility figured in the social, cultural, and political processes that shaped the war. My second book, War on Record: The Archive and the Afterlife of the Civil War, traces the complex and surprising history of the written record generated by the sectional conflict and managed by the Federal government. In between book projects I have written essays about rumors, emancipation, and the antiwar turn in Civil War scholarship. 


At Tel Aviv University I have a joint appointment in the history department and the department of English and American Studies. I teach a range of courses for students on all levels, including:

  • Modern African American History
  • The South from Civil War to Civil Rights
  • Knoweldge and Power in the Historical Archive
  • Readings in the History of the Civil War and Reconstruction
  • A Social and Cultural History of the American Civil War 
  • The Civil War: History, Myth and Memory



B.A., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Summa Cum Laude (2001)

M.A., History, Princeton University, with Distinction (2004)

Ph.D., History, Princeton University (2008)



Hanadiv Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Rothschild Foundation (2008-2010)

Martin Buber Society of Fellows, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2010-2011)



  • Fulbright Grant for Israeli Doctoral Students (2002-2004)
  • Keck-Mellon Fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California (2006)
  • Dan David Prize, Tel Aviv University, Israel (2007)
  • The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship, New York City (2009)
  • The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition Fellowship, Yale University, (2009)
  • The Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Fellowship, Harvard University, (2010) (Declined)
  • Allon Fellowship for Outstanding Young Researchers, Israeli Council for Higher Education (2011-2014)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California (2012)
  • Israel Science Foundation Grant (2013-2016)
  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society (2015)
  • Davis Center Fellowship, Department of History, Princeton University (spring 2016)
  • The Israel Young Academy, Elected Member (2016-2020)
  • Israel Science Foundation Grant (2017-2020)
  • Rector's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017-2018)
  • Berlin Institute of Advanced Studies, Fellow (2020-2021)
  • Israel Science Foundation Grant (2023-2027)


Research Students

Current Students Writing M.A. Theses:

Ayelet Marron

Anat Ovadia-Rosner

Or Rappel-Kroyzer





War on Record: The Archive and the Afterlife of the Civil War (Yale University Press, 2023)

* Winner, 2024 Tom Watson Brown Award, Society for Civil War Historians 

* Finalist, 2024 Lincoln Prize, Gettysburg College and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History

Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2012)

* Co-Winner, 2013 Francis B. Simkins Award for Best First Book in Southern History Published in 2011-2012

* Finalist, 2013 Lincoln Prize, Gettysburg College and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History

* Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2012

* Civil War Monitor Best Book of 2012 


“Communicating War: The Culture of Information in Civil War Richmond, 1861-1865” Past & Present  202 (February 2009)

"Revisionism Reinvented? The Antiwar Turn in Civil War Scholarship” Journal of the Civil War Era 3.2 (June 2013)

"Chaos, Conflict, Control: Modes of Authority in Soldiers' Testimonies on the Israeli Occupation" in David Shulman ed., Meditations on Authority  (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2013)

 "Emancipation," in Aaron Sheehan-Dean ed., A Companion to the U.S. Civil War, 2 vols., (Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), 965-986

 “Bodies in Motion and the Making of Emancipation” in William B. Link and James Broomal eds., Rethinking Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Struggle for African-American Freedom  forthcoming, (Cambridge University Press, 2015), 15-40

"The Afterlives of a Confederate Archive: Civil War Documents and the Making of Sectional Reconciliatoin" Journal of American History 102 (March 2016) , 1025-1050

* Winner, Binkley-Stephenson Award for best article in the Journal of American History published in 2016, Organization of American Historians

"Reimagining the Civil War" Reviews in American History 44 (December 2016), 581-587.

"The Stuff of Defeat: Material Culture and the Downfall of Jefferson Davis," in Joan Cashin ed., War Matters: Material Culture in the Civil War Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), 222-244.

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