Naomi Sokoloff’s research and teaching focus primarily on Modern Jewish Literature, with special attention to Hebrew. Her book, What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (And What It Means to Americans) celebrates the vitality of Modern Hebrew and addresses the challenges and joys of being a Hebraist in America in the twenty-first century. Co-edited with Nancy E. Berg and published by the University of Washington Press (2018), this volume won a National Jewish Book Award. Sokoloff’s most recent book, also co-edited with Nancy E. Berg, is Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making (SUNY Press, 2020). This volume features a dozen essays that explore shifting linguistic, geographical, cultural, and artistic boundaries of Israeli writing. The contributors analyze texts composed in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Arabic, by Jews and non-Jews, by Israelis abroad as well as writers in Israel, by canonical and non-canonical authors.
Sokoloff has published widely on Israeli and American literature, commenting on work by, among others, Diane Ackerman, S.Y. Agnon, Yehuda Amichai, Aharon Appelfeld, Louis Begley, Ch.N. Bialik, Alona Frankel, David Grossman, Primo Levi, Etgar Keret, Jerzy Kosinski, Primo Levi, Savyon Liebrecht, Rutu Modan, Yehoshua November, Cynthia Ozick, Hava Pinhas-Cohen, Gabriel Preil, Haim Plutzik, Henry Roth, Philip Roth, Avraham Shlonsky, and Myra Sklarew. Among the topics discussed in her books and articles: responses to the Holocaust, gender and women’s voices in literature, modern poetry in relation to traditional prayer, representations of childhood in fiction, and children’s literature.
Prof. Sokoloff has been active in establishing the program in Global Literary Studies at UW, and she has often taught a course for the Honors Program called Seattle: Reading and Writing the City.
- Naomi Sokoloff, "What Poets Write About When They Write About Hebrew" in the Jewish Book Council's "Paper Brigade Daily"
- Naomi Sokoloff, “The Nazi Beast at the Warsaw Zoo: Animal Studies, The Zookeeper’s Wife and See Under: Love.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Holocaust Literature and Culture, edited by Victoria Aarons and Phyllis Lassner (Palgrave, 2020).
- “The Poet’s Tallit: Prayer Shawls in Poems by Abraham Shlonsky, Yehuda Amichai, Myra Sklarew, and Yehoshua November.” CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly. Winter 2020, pp. 73-89.
- Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making, eds. Nancy E. Berg and Naomi B. Sokoloff (SUNY Press, 2020).
- What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (and What It Means to Americans), edited by Naomi B. Sokoloff and Nancy E. Berg (University of Washington Press, 2018) - Winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Anthologies and Collections.
- Naomi Sokoloff, "Rereading David Grossman’s See Under : Love," Prooftexts 35:1 (2015): 1-12.
- “Israel in Jewish American Literature.” In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Jewish American Literature. Ed. Hannah Wirth. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Naomi Sokoloff, The Boundaries of Jewish Identity, Co-edited with Susan Glenn (University of Washington Press, 2010).
- Naomi Sokoloff, The Jewish Presence in Children's Literature. Edited, with an introduction, with Suzanne Rahn. A special issue of The Lion and the Unicorn 27, 3 (September 2003 - Johns Hopkins University Press)
- Naomi Sokoloff, Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature. Edited, with Anne Lapidus Lerner and Anita Norich (The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Harvard, 1992).
- Naomi Sokoloff, Imagining the Child in Modern Jewish Fiction (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).
HONORS 345a - Seattle: Reading and Writing the City
ENGL 312/JEW ST 312C LIT 396 Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern