Guy Beiner

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Guy Beiner
Guy Beiner, Coca Pub, Beer Sheva.jpg
AwardsGeorge L. Mosse Prize
Katharine Briggs Award
Irish Historical Research Prize
Ratcliff Prize
Wayland D. Hand Prize
Academic background
Alma materTel Aviv University
University College Dublin
Academic work
InstitutionsBen-Gurion University of the Negev
Main interestsMemory studies, Irish Studies, Oral history, Oral tradition, Folklore, Spanish flu, History of terrorism

Guy Beiner (born in 1968 in Jerusalem) is an Israeli historian of the late-modern period. He is a full professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.[1]

Life and works[edit]

Guy Beiner was born and raised in Jerusalem and later moved to kibbutz Glil Yam. After traveling abroad, he relocated to the Negev region. Beiner is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland. He was a Government of Ireland Scholar at University College Dublin, an Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellow at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies in the University of Notre Dame, a Government of Hungary Fellow at the Central European University in Budapest, a Gerda Henkel Marie Curie Fellow at the Faculty of History of the University of Oxford, a research associate of St Catherine's College, Oxford and a Burns Scholar at Boston College.[2][3] At Ben-Gurion University, he has repeatedly received the Rector's prize for teaching excellence and was twice the recipient of the David and Luba Glatt Prize for Exceptional Excellence in Teaching.

Beiner's research has largely been devoted to the study of remembrance and forgetting in modern history, with a particular interest in Ireland. He has also published on other subjects, including oral history, the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, and the history of terrorism.[4][5] In recent years, he has primarily focused on advancing the historical study of "social forgetting". His academic work is distinguished for its innovative interrogation of less-conventional sources drawn from popular culture and in particular folklore. He has developed the term "vernacular historiography" (in place of folk memory) in order to broaden the scope of historical investigations of unofficial sources and to explore the interfaces of oral traditions with popular print and various other media, including visual and material culture. He has repeatedly called for a critical rethinking of the concept of invented tradition, as first introduced in a seminal collection of essays edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. In his contributions to memory studies, Beiner's critique of less-reflective uses of the term collective memory, has led him to explore more sophisticated categorizations of social remembrance and to develop the study of "social forgetting".[6] He has also contested the validity of conventional use of the term "postmemory" (as coined by Marianne Hirsch), suggesting in its place alternative conceptualizations of "postmemory", introducing a corresponding concept of "pre-memory" (when the memory of an event is shaped by memories of earlier events),[7] and adding an original notion of "pre-forgetting" (with reference to concerns over the forgetting of an event that are raised prior to when it occurs).[8] While his case studies are often grounded in modern Irish history, Beiner has demonstrated the broader applicability of his theoretical innovations for historical studies elsewhere.

His book Remembering the Year of the French: Irish Folk History and Social Memory (University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 2007; paperback 2009)[9] won a number of international awards, including the 2007 Ratcliff Prize for "an important contribution by an individual to the study of Folklore or Folk Life in Great Britain and Ireland"[10] and the 2008 Wayland D. Hand Prize for an outstanding publication in history and folklore.[11] It was a finalist for 2008 National Council on Public History (NCPH) Book Award, commended for "outstanding contribution in the subfield of public history and policy", and was listed for the 2008 Cundill International Prize for a book determined to have a profound literary, social and academic impact in the area of history.[12]

His book Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster (Oxford University Press: Oxford and New York, 2018)[13] won the 2019 George L. Mosse Prize for "an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance",[14] the 2019 Katharine Briggs Award for "the most distinguished contribution to folklore studies",[15] the 2019 Irish Historical Research Prize awarded biannually by the National University of Ireland for "the best new work of Irish Historical Research",[16] and received an Honorable Mention for the James S. Donnelly, Sr., Prize for Books in History and Social Sciences.[17] It was listed as a book of the year for 2018 in the Times Literary Supplement,[18] subsequently appearing in the Private Eye books of the year as "Best Flying the Green Flag".[19] The American historian Jay Winter described the book as "'bottom-up' history at its best" and the French historian Pierre Nora asserted that "Guy Beiner has contributed to opening a new page in the history of memory, that of forgetting. He writes about the particular case of Ireland but the perspectives which he opens concern all historians of memory."[20] Commenting on the book, Ian McBride, the Foster Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford, wrote that Beiner's "intellectual ambition puts him in a different league from most Irish historians of his generation".[21]



  1. ^ "Prof. Guy Beiner". The Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
  2. ^ "NEH Fellows: Guy Beiner". Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame.
  3. ^ "Burns Visiting Scholars". Boston College.
  4. ^ "Guy Beiner".
  5. ^ "Guy Beiner". ResearchGate.
  6. ^ Beiner, Guy (2016). "Making Sense of Memory: Coming to Terms with Conceptualisations of Historical Remembrance". In McGarry, Fearghal; Grayson, Richard S. (eds.). Remembering 1916: The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13–23.
  7. ^ Beiner, Guy (2014). "Probing the Boundaries of Irish Memory: From Postmemory to Prememory and Back". Irish Historical Studies. 39 (154): 296–307.
  8. ^ Beiner, Guy. "Forgetting to Remember Orr: Death and Ambiguous Remembrance in Modern Ireland". In Kelly, James; Lyons, Mary Ann (eds.). Death and Dying in Ireland, Britain, and Europe: Historical Perspectives. pp. 171–202.
  9. ^ Beiner, Guy (2007). Remembering the Year of the French Irish Folk History and Social Memory. University of Wisconsin Press. Reviews: Times Literary Supplement (7 December 2007), Dublin Review of Books (Winter 2007), Journal of British Studies (Oct. 2007), SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900 (Winter 2007), Choice (Feb. 2008), History (April 2008), Irish Literary Supplement (Spring 2008); Études Irlandaises (Spring 2008); Nations & Nationalism (April 2008); Cultural & Social History (June 2008), Field Day Review (June 2008); Journal of Folklore Research (July 2008); English Historical Review (August 2008); Folklore (Aug. 2008); Journal of Historical Geography (Oct. 2008); History Ireland (Sept./Oct. 2008); American Historical Review (Oct. 2008); Zmanim (Autumn 2008); Irish Historical Studies (Nov. 2008); Memory Studies (Jan. 2009); Public Historian (May 2009); Journal of Contemporary History (June 2009); Irish Times (July 2009); Irish Review (2009); H-Albion (Nov. 2009); Western Folklore (Spring 2009); Irish Economic and Social History (2009); Historia (March 2010). Media features: Forward (30 March 2007), Jerusalem Post (7 October 2007); Public Radio International (6 July 2008); ‘Talking History’, Newstalk (2009)
  10. ^ "Israeli wins literary prize in Great Britain and Ireland". Jerusalem Post. 7 October 2007.
  11. ^ "Winner of the Wayland D. Hand Prize". The Folklore Historian. 25. 2018.
  12. ^ "Cundill International Prize in History longlist announced". McGill.
  13. ^ Beiner, Guy (2018). Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster. Oxford University Press.. Reviews : Irish Times (29 December 2018), Slugger O'Toole (22 Jan. 2019); Times Higher Education (March 2019), Irish Catholic (March 2019), European History Quarterly (April 2019), New Hibernia Review (Spring 2019), History Ireland (July–August 2019), Dublin Review of Books (October 2019); Irish Historical Studies (Nov. 2019), Essays in History (2019), Heythrop Journal (Jan. 2020), Media features: Irish News (17 January 2019), Belfast Newsletter (23 January 2019), History Now Northern Vision TV (February 2019), New Books Network podcast (March 2019), Belfast Telegraph (July 2019)
  14. ^ "George L. Mosse Prize Recipients". American Historical Association.
  15. ^ "The Katharine Briggs Award 2019". The Folklore Society.
  16. ^ "NUI Publication Prizes & Grants".
  17. ^ "Donnelly Prize Recipients". ACIS.
  18. ^ "Books Of The Year". Times Literary Supplement. 20 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Books of the Year: Christmas Log Rolling 2018". Private Eye. 22 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Forgetful Remembrance, Reviews & Awards". Oxford University Press.
  21. ^ "The Real McCorley". Dublin Review of Books.


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