News Item

Professor Eva Illouz elected the new president of Bezalel


photo by  Susanne Shleyer


Bezalel Academy announced tonight that Professor Eva Illouz will take over from Professor Arnon Zuckerman as the next president of the Academy – making her the first-ever female president of the 106-year-old art academy

Jerusalem: Wednesday 29 August 2012: Today, the Board of Directors of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem approved the Search Committee’s recommendation on the appointment of Professor Eva Illouz, professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as the next president of the Academy. Illouz will take up her position in October 2012 when Professor Arnon Zuckerman, who has served as president of the Academy since October 2003, leaves his post.

This appointment comes hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Dr Tal Ben Zvi will take over as Bezalel’s new vice president, ensuring the top two positions at the academy will be held by women.

Eva Illouz was born in Fez, Morocco, raised and educated in France and then later in Israel and the United States. Currently, she is a full professor in the Department of Sociology at the Hebrew University. Her research interests include sociology of culture, sociology of emotions, sociology of capitalism, and the effect of consumerism and mass media on emotional patterns.

Illouz is the author of six books about diverse topics that include romantic love, Oprah Winfrey, culture, capitalism and the crystallization of the psychological culture during the 20th century. Her books have been translated into 15 languages

In 2004, she was invited to deliver the prestigious Adorno lecture series in Frankfurt, Germany. One of the topics in this series deals with the impact of Internet technology on sexual and romantic relationships. In 2009, Illouz was chosen by the German newspaper, Die Zeit, as one of 12 philosophers who are most likely to “shape the thought of tomorrow". The same year, she was also awarded the "Outstanding Researcher Award" of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Illouz was invited to Princeton University and other schools of higher education in Paris as a visiting professor, was a fellow in "Wissenschaftskolleg" in Berlin, and has in recent months, written articles in Ha’aretz newspaper in Israel on various subjects such as literature, politics and social affairs.

Illouz is currently working on two new books, one entitled Best-Sellers and Society: Explaining the 50 Shades of Grey Phenomenon, and the other called Emotions as Social Fiction.

The trustees, staff and students would like to congratulate Illouz and wish her much success as Bezalel’s new president.

Bezalel would also like to thank Professor Arnon Zuckerman for his many years of service and dedication to the Academy.

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