Dr. Tamir Karkason
Post-doctoral Researcher
Tamir Karkason is a Sephardi-studies scholar who studies the history of Mediterranean Jewry (notably Ladino-speaking Jewry) from the early modern period onwards. His work concentrates on themes related to Jewish Enlightenment, Jewish nationalism, the history of books and reading, and the “spatial turn.”

Karkason submitted his dissertation, entitled “The Ottoman-Jewish Haskalah (Enlightenment), 1839-1908: A Transformation in Western Anatolia, the Southern Balkans and Jerusalem Jewish Communities,” to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2018. He is currently the Olamot Center Visiting Fellow at the Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University. Within the project “Jewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in Early Modern Europe”, Karkason intends to study books that were partially or entirely translated from non-Jewish sources into Ladino between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.


Selected Publications:

  • Home and Away: The Ottoman Jewish Enlightenment in the Nineteenth Century. Forthcoming, Jerusalem, 2022 (Hebrew)

  • “Between Two Poles: Barukh Mitrani, Haskalah and Nationalism,” Zutot: Perspectives on Jewish Culture (2021)

  • “’Do not say you cannot learn’: A Test Case for the History of Jewish Education for Women in the Ottoman Empire,” Pe’amim: Studies in Oriental Jewry (in press, 2022; Hebrew)

  • “The Buffer Zone: Ottoman Maskilim and their Austro-Hungarian Counterparts – A Case Study,” Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, 17 (2020): 146-179


  • “Printing and Modernity: The Activities of the Dorshei Ha-Haskalah Association (‘Seekers of the Enlightenment,’ 1879-1889) to Revive Hebrew-Alphabet Printing in Edirne,” Ladinar: Studies in the Literature, Music & the History of the Sephardic Jews, 11 (2020): 131-154 (Hebrew)

  • “Sephardi Historiography: ‘Three Who Preceded Ben-Yehuda’ as a Test Case,” Pe’amim: Studies in Oriental Jewry, 149 (2017): 97-136 (Hebrew)


  • “Sabbateanism and the Ma’aminim in the Writings of Abraham Elmaleh,” El Prezente: Studies in Sephardic Culture, 10 (2016): 123-142

  • “The Iberian Diasporas in the 18th and 19th Century,” eds. Ruth Fine and Susanne Zepp, Jewish Literatures in Spanish and Portuguese: From the Middle Ages to Present Day (Berlin: De Gruyter) [in press, 2021]

  • “The ‘Entangled Histories’ of the Jewish Enlightenment in Ottoman Southeastern Europe,” eds. Renate Hansen-Kokorus and Olaf Terpitz, Jewish Literatures and Cultures in Southeastern Europe: Experiences, Positions, Memories (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag) [in press, 2021]

  • “Writings in Hebrew on Istanbul during the Last Ottoman Century and the Early Years of the Turkish Republic,” eds. Christoph Hertzog and Richard Wittmann, Recovering the Voices of Late Ottoman Istanbul’s Multiethnic Residents through Self-Narratives (1830-1930): Sources and Research Paradigms, Life Narratives of the Ottoman Realm: Individual and Empire in the Near East, vol. 3 (Abingdon: Routledge) [co-authored with Yaron Ben-Naeh; in press]