Prof. Michal Govrin

Prof. Michal Govrin
Role: 
Head of the Memory Transmission and Fiction research group; editor of the Holocaust Remembrance Day gathering
email: 
Fields of Practice: 
Writer of fiction and poetry; Theories of theater and directing, religious ritual, Jewish ceremony
Interests: 
Classical music and jazz, excursions in nature
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Michal Govrin is a writer, poet, and stage director. She has a doctorate in contemporary sacred theater from the University of Paris.

Govrin has published eleven books—poetry, novels, and essays—that have garnered many prizes in Israel and abroad. Her works include the novel The Name (Hebrew: Hashem) (Kugel Prize and Koret Prize for Jewish books); Snapshots (Hebrew: Hevzekim) (ACUM Prize for literary achievement); the prose poetry volume The Making of the Sea, a Chronicle of Exegesis (Hebrew: Ma’aseh Hayam; Chronikat Perush), which is laid out as a page of Gemara; and recently, the novel The Shores of Ashkelon (Hebrew: Ahava al hakhof) and the book Body of Prayer (Hebrew: Guf Tefila), co-authored with Jacques Derrida.

Govrin has directed plays in all the large theaters in Israel. She won the Margalit Prize for her translation and staging of Emigranci (Hamehagrim in Hebrew), by the Polish writer Sławomir Mrożek, and staged, inter alia, the world premier of an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s Mercier and Camier. She is a pioneer of the neo-Jewish stream in Israeli literature and theater, and she has adapted for the stage the stories of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, The Journey of the Year (Hebrew: Masa hashana) through the holidays of the year, and Gog and Magog by Martin Mordechai Buber.

Michal Govrin teaches at the Tel Aviv University. At the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, from 2012 to 2015 Govrin headed the multidisciplinary Memory Transmission and Fiction research group, which dealt with the nature of the memory of the Holocaust in an era in which there are no longer any survivors. At the conclusion of the research, the group prepared an exhibition titled "What Is Memory? Seventy Years Later," held symposia, and wrote with a special team a “Hagadah” for gatherings on the eve of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day. Now she is engaged, in editing and producing a booklet for gatherings on Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day.

Michal Govrin was selected by Salon du livres de Paris as one of thirty writers who left a mark on world literature, and she is a chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.