SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Hila Amit

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Hila Amit
Hila Amit
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
By appointment
Thesis title:
The New [Queer] Hebrew Diaspora
Year of Study:

PhD Research

The proposed research project will investigate the experiences of queer Israeli migrants and their participation in a new phenomenon that is called by participants: The new Hebrew diaspora. This is a movement from Israel outward, not generated toward one specific place, but is constructed as an ongoing departing process. I will be looking at queer Israeli emigrants at three different sites: Berlin, London and New York City. This research will investigates how these individuals negotiate their citizenship status and national identity. I will look at the connections between political activism and sexuality in regards to the emigrants’ intentions of returning/not returning to their homeland.
As Zionist ideology and the Israeli government invest resources in bringing the highest number of Jews to the state of Israel, my focus on Israeli emigration offers an interesting counter-experience to the Aliyah narrative. My aim is therefore to investigate whether or not queer women from Israel who choose to leave the country conceptualize their emigration as a political act, and if so, in what way? I wish to explore and understand the ways in which sexuality and gender identity is relevant in constructing feelings of belonging to the Israeli “collective".


  • June 2014 - University of Ben-Gorion . AIS Annual Meeting:1. "Israel, Zionism and the emigration anxiety". 2. Home and away: (re)formations of diaspora, exile, and the state among Jewish Israelis in Israel/Palestine and abroad (Panel)
  • May 2014, LSE, Tangentially Queer. Queer Israeli emigrants and the heteronormative national timeline
  • May 2013 - University of Sussex .2nd Annual IFjP conference ‘(Im)possible Queer International Feminisms’: “Queer Activism in Israel-Palestine”
  • February 2013- University of Brighton. Lesbian Lives 20th – The Modern Lesbian: “queer temporality and Palestinian lesbian activism” & “choosing not to be a mother – Palestinian lesbian narratives regarding mothering” (two presentations)
  • November 2012 - Queen Mary University, London. Queer History conference: "When there is No Past and the Future is Unseen – Palestinian Lesbian Activism"
  • June 2012 – Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv. "A different Sex": Israel's annual queer studies conference: "Free Radicals: Lesbians, Motherhood and Choice"
  • May 2012 – Central European University, Budapest. The 8th European Feminist Research Conference: "Non-Natalism in the Palestinian Community in Israel: Lesbians, Motherhood and Choice".