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Ella Habiba Shohat (Hebrew: אלה חביבה שוחט; born 1959) is an American-Israeli[1] cultural-studies academic. She is a Mizrahi/Arab Jew from a Baghdadi family.[2] Her main research interests are post-colonialism and representation in the Middle East. She has written extensively on the idea of the Arab Jew, and recently on the question of Judeo Arabic.[3]

Ella Habiba Shohat
ResidenceNew York
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York University, City University of New York

Heroic Nationalist CinemaEdit

Shohat coined the term "Israeli Heroic Nationalist Cinema" in some of her work which discussed the genre of Israeli film that presented glorified semi-mythological accounts of the period of the Yishuv. She counts among these films Hill 24 Doesn't Answer directed by Thorold Dickinson which tells a semi-mythologized account of four Jewish fighters who are trying to maintain control over a strategic hill, located on the road to Jerusalem, in 1948. Some of the films in this genre debuted after wars, such as He Walked Through the Fields, which premiered after the Six Day War.[4]

Academic careerEdit

Shohat has worked at City University of New York[1] and New York University where she is now professor of cultural studies.[5]

Teaching cultural studies and Middle Eastern studies at New York University, she has lectured and written on issues having to do with Orientalism, Eurocentrism, post-colonial and transnational approaches to cultural studies, on the Arab Jew, Palestine, and other diasporic displacements. Shohat's work on the Middle East has spanned several decades, since the 1980s. Her main research interests are: Arab Jews and Memory; Representation of Palestine and Israel; Hebrew Mizrahi literature and cinema; Iraqi culture; Arab-American and Arab diasporic studies; media/cultural studies; visual culture; gender studies; transnationalism; postcolonial studies.

Her writing has been translated into diverse languages, including: French, Hebrew, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, and Turkish.

She has also served on the editorial board of several journals, including: Social Text; Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies; Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism; and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. She is a recipient of such fellowships as Rockefeller Foundation, Fulbright Lectureship / Research, and the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, where she also taught at School of Criticism and Theory.



  • On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings of Ella Shohat. London, Pluto Press, 2017. Winner of the Middle East Monitor Palestine Book Award).[6][7]
  • Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora (coedited with E. Alsultany), The University of Michigan Press, 2013. Honorable Mention in the Non-Fiction category for the Arab American Book Award, The Arab American Museum.[8]
  • Race in Translation: Culture Wars around the Postcolonial Atlantic (coauthored with R. Stam), New York University Press, 2012.[9]
  • Flagging Patriotism: Crises of Narcissism and Anti-Americanism (co-authored with Robert Stam).[10]

Le sionisme du point de vue de ses victimes juives: les juifs orientaux en Israel (first published in 1988, with a new introduction, Paris; La Fabrique Editions, 2006).


  • “The Invention of Judeo-Arabic,” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Routledge, Vol. 19, Issue 2, 2017, pp. 153–200.
  • Lost Homelands, Imaginary Returns, Moments of Silence: Authenticity in the Cultural Expressions of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), Arta Khakpour, Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, and Shouleh Vatanabadi, eds. New York University Press, 2016, pp. 20–58.[15]
  • “The Question of Judeo-Arabic(s): Itineraries of Belonging,” Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, Joshua Miller and Anita Norich, eds. University of Michigan Press, 2016, pp. 94–149.
  • The Specter of the Blackamoor: Figuring Africa and the Orient. In Re-Significations: European Blackamoors, Africana Reading, edited by Awam Amkpa. Rome: Postcart SRL, 2016.[16]
  • “A Voyage to Toledo: 25 Years After the ‘Jews of the Orient and Palestinians’ Meeting,” Jadaliyya, Sept. 30, 2014.
  • “The Question of Judeo-Arabic,” Opening Essay, Arab Studies Journal, 23:1 (Fall 2015), pp 14-76.
  • The Sephardi-Moorish Atlantic: Between Orientalism and Occidentalism'. In Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora, edited by Ella Habiba Shohat and Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013.[17]
  • “Transnationalizing Comparison: The Uses and Abuses of Cross-Cultural Analogy” (with R. Stam), Special focus, “Comparison,” New Literary History, 40: 3 (Summer 2009), pp. 473-499.
  • “The ‘Postcolonial’ in Translation: Reading Said in Hebrew,” (a special issue on Edward Said, edited by Rashid Khalidi,) Journal of Palestine Studies, XXXIII, no. 3 (Spring 2004), pp. 55-75.
  • "Notes on the" Post-Colonial"." Social text 31/32 (1992): 99-113.
  • Dislocated Identities: Reflections of an Arab Jew, Movement Research: Performance Journal # 5 (Fall Winter, 1992). Segments from Ella Shohat’s essay are included in Elia Suleiman's New York-based film Homage by Assassination (1992).[18]
  • "Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the standpoint of its Jewish victims." Social Text 19/20 (1988): 1-35.

Edited Special IssuesEdit

  • “Edward Said: A Memorial Issue” (coedited with Patrick Deer and Gyan Prakash), Social Text 87 (Summer 2006) pp. 1–144.
  • “Corruption in Corporate Culture” (coedited with Randy Martin), Social Text 77 (Winter 2003) pp. 1–153
  • “Palestine in a Transnational Context” (coedited with Timothy Mitchell & Gyan Prakash), Social Text 75 (Summer 2003) pp. 1–162
  • “911-A Public Emergency?” (co-edited with Brent Edwards, Stefano Harney, Randy Martin, Timothy Mitchell, Fred Moten), Social Text 72 (Fall 2002), pp. 1–199

Film Participation and advisingEdit

  • Samir, Forget Baghdad: Jews and Arabs – The Iraqi Connection Switzerland 2002. Documentary. (The film is the Winner of Best Documentary, Swiss Film Prize; And of the Critics Week Award, Locarno International Film Festival.[19]
  • Contributor to script and voice over reading for Elia Suleiman's film Homage by Assassination (28 min) 1992.

Elia Suleiman's film incorporates a few segments from Shohat's article, written during the 1990-91 Gulf War. Shohat & Suleiman rewrote the segments as a letter from Ella Habiba Shohat to her friend Elia Suleiman. As Suleiman receives the faxed letter, Shohat is heard in a voice-over reading from "Reflections of an Arab-Jew."[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Reflections of an Arab Jew - Ella Shohat". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  2. ^ Shohat, Ella. On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings of Ella Shohat. London, Pluto Press, 2017.
  3. ^ The Question of Judeo-Arabic, Arab Studies Journal (Opening Essay) (2015), 14-76 <>
  4. ^ Talmon, Miri. Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion. University of Texas.
  5. ^ "Shohat, Ella". New York University. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
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  19. ^ See also: FORGET BAGHDAD - Official Trailer:
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External linksEdit