Aviv Reich, Pembroke

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr H Thaventhiran
Dissertation Title:

Wandering Forms: Reading Jewish Prose, 1876-1922

Biographical Information

I completed a BA in English Language and Literature at Oxford, winning the British Association for Jewish Studies undergraduate prize for my dissertation. I then came to Cambridge to take the MPhil in Criticism and Culture, funded by the Cambridge Trust. I’m now in the second year of my PhD which is funded by the AHRC and the Isaac Newton Trust.

For Lent Term 2024, I'm a co-convener of the 20th Century and Contemporary Literature Research Seminar.        

Research Interests

I research late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century prose fiction, with a particular interest in how narrative forms relate to social, religious, scientific, and philosophical developments of the period.

My thesis explains the narrative techniques of George Eliot, Amy Levy, Israel Zangwill, and James Joyce as engagements with a thread of Jewish thought which was concerned by how to organise, understand, and experience Jewish history, and with where Jews ought or ought not to live. I characterise these four figures as writers of ‘Jewish prose’ in that they shared a set of formal preoccupations about how to articulate complex Jewish-temporal ideas. In particular, I argue they explored ways of patterning the Jewish past in order to project different futures in writing.