Prof. Gary D. Mole

Professeur titulaire / Full professor
Prof. Gary D. Mole
Reception hours: 


Professional Positions

Full Professor, French Department, Bar-Ilan University (at Bar-Ilan since 1995)

Chair of the Department of French Culture, Bar-Ilan University, 2016-

Visiting Associate Professor in French, European Languages and Studies, The University of Western Australia, 2011-12 (on leave from Bar-Ilan)

Former Chair of the French Department, Bar-Ilan University, 2002-06, 2007-08, 2008-09 (second semester), 2010-11 (second semester)

Qualified as Maître de conférences (University Lecturer) in Section 9 (French Language and Literature) by the French Conseil National des Universités (National University Council) of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Session 2009

Official Fellow and College Lecturer in French; Director of Studies in French; Admissions Tutor for the Arts and Social Sciences, Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1990-95

Assistant University Lecturer, Department of French, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, Cambridge, 1991-95

Current Editorial Positions

Member of the Advisory Board of Essays in French Literature and Culture, under the general editorship of Hélène Jaccomard, published by the French section of the School of European Languages and Studies, The University of Western Australia

Member of the Editorial Board of Dalhousie French Studies, currently under the general editorship of Driss Aissaoui, published by Dalhousie University, Canada

Member of the Editorial Board of the collection “Résonances de Maurice Blanchot”, under the general editorship of Éric Hoppenot (Université de Paris 4) and Alain Milon (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense), published by the Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense.

Member of the Advisory Board of the journal Yod. Revue des études hébraïques et juives, under the general editorship of Masha Itzhaki, published by the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Paris. The review specializes in the literature, history, and sociology of the Jewish people in Israel and the diaspora in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


1987-1992: Ph.D: “The Étranger, Exile and Writing: Blanchot and Jabès”, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

1990: MA, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

1983-1987: BA Honours in Modern and Medieval Languages (French and German), Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge: First Class




Recent publications


Book Chapters

  • “"Bronislaw 'Zrogowski' Kaminski Durocher, ou l'homme aux mille visages", in Bruno Durocher, Oeuvre complète, Tome III: Théatre et Essais: Métamorphoses de l'homme. Paris: Caractères, 2015, pp. 557-591.
  • Cruel Justice, Responsibility, and Forgiveness: On Levinas's Reading of the Gibeonites”, in Levinas Faces Biblical Figures, edited by Yael Lin. New York: Lexington Books, 2014, pp. 61-78 (reprinted from Modern Judaism: A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience vol. 31, no. 3 (October 2011), pp. 253-271).
  • “Le Dernier entretien: la pensée épuisée et l'épuisement du sujet”, in Maurice Blanchot, entre roman et récit, sous la direction d’Alain Milon. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, Collection Résonances de Maurice Blanchot, 2013, pp. 173-188.
  • “Entre l’hostilité et l’hospitalité il n’y a qu’un pa(s): accueillir l’autre dans l’intimité du livre”, in Edmond Jabès: L’Exil en partage, sous la direction d’Aurèle Crasson. Paris: Éditions Hermann, 2013, pp. 81-93.
  • “Misreading or Missed Reading? Levinas on Edmond Jabès”, in Levinas Autrement, sous la direction de Roger Burggraeve, Joëlle Hansel, Marie-Anne Lescourret, Jean-François Rey, Jean-Michel Salanskis. Louvain/Paris: Peeters, 2012, pp. 85-100.
  • “‘Quoi qu'il arrive, je suis avec Israël’: Maurice Blanchot et la sauvegarde des Juifs”, in Les Intellectuels français et Israël, sous la direction de Denis Charbit. Paris: Éditions de l'éclat, 2009, pp. 111-119.
  • “‘Folie d’Auschwitz qui n’arrive pas à passer’: texture lévinassienne ou récit blanchotien?”, in Emmanuel Levinas—Maurice Blanchot: penser la différence, sous la direction d’Éric Hoppenot et Alain Milon. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris 10-Nanterre, 2008, pp. 461-482.
  • “Le temps du hors-temps, le lieu du non-lieu dans Cela a eu lieu”, in Edmond Jabès, l’éclosion des énigmes, sous la direction de Daniel Lançon et Catherine Mayaux. Saint-Denis: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 2007, pp. 285-296.

Journal Articles

  • “‘L’Enfer noir de la guerre aux visions spectrales’: le réalisme graphique dans la poésie de combat de Paul Costel”, Essays in French Literature and Culture (The University of Western Australia). Special issue: “Représenter la Grande Guerre: les écrivains et les artistes face à l’épreuve (1914-1920)”, edited by Gary D. Mole, vol. 51 (November 2014), pp. 77-96.
  • "Scatology, Chopped Liver, and the Last Supper: Daniel Zimmermann's Holocaust Novel L'Anus du monde", French Studies vol.67, no. 1 (January 2013), pp. 30-46.
  • “Voix des banlieues, voix africaines: Hybridité textuelle et polyphonie dans les romans de Wilfried N'Sondé”, Dalhousie French Studies vol. 99 (Summer 2012), pp. 79-88.
  • “Cruel Justice, Responsibility, and Forgiveness: On Levinas's Reading of the Gibeonites”, Modern Judaism: A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Experience vol. 31, no. 3 (October 2011), pp. 253-271.
  • “‘Ensevelir l’exil au tombeau de l’oubli’: la poésie des prisonniers de guerre français, 1914-1918”, Dalhousie French Studies vol. 88 (Fall 2009), pp. 119-133.
  • “L’horreur de la guerre, l’extase de la guerre: la poésie française des soldats-poètes, 1914-18”, Nouvelles Études Francophones, numéro spécial sur “Guerre et Littérature”, sous la direction de Mark Benson, vol. 24, no 2 (Automne 2009), pp. 37-54.
  • “Réactions à la Grande Guerre dans la poésie féminine française”, The French Review vol. 82, no. 4 (March 2009), pp. 732-745.
  • “‘The poet remained alone amidst the corpses of words... ’: the Deportation Poetry of André Ulmann and Maurice Honel”, Critical Survey, special issue on “Holocaust Poetry”, edited by Antony Rowland and Robert Eaglestone, vol. 20, no. 2 (August 2008), pp. 78-87.
  • “Ecce homo: le clown, le prophète et le Juif dans Le Livre de l’homme de Bruno Durocher”, Perspectives. Revue de l’Université Hébraïque de Jérusalem vol. 12 (2005), pp. 237-254.


Books / Journals (edited)

  • Représenter la Grande Guerre: les écrivains et les artistes face à l’épreuve (1914-1920). Edited by Gary D. Mole. Essays in French Literature and Culture (Perth: University Press of Western Australia), Special issue, vol. 51 (November 2014), viii + 151pp.


Books Authored

  • Beyond the Limit-Experience: French Poetry of the Deportation, 1940-1945. Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures. New York: Peter Lang, 2002, xii 228pp.

"In this first critical study of French-language poetry written in Nazi prisons, transit camps, and concentration camps, Gary D. Mole demonstrates how this poetry cannot simply be treated with reverence or as incidental historical documentation. Situating the poetry within the wider context of 'concentration camp culture'; Mole engages in aesthetic and moral issues, offers extensive thematic readings—both of the reality transcribed by the poets and of spiritual and religious resistance to dehumanization; and submits the poetry to a stylistic and linguistic analysis under the joint rubric of memory and innovation. Lucidly written, this interdisciplinary book makes accessible to the specialist and nonspecialist reader an unjustly neglected corpus and argues persuasively for its reinsertion into the continuing process of the memorialization of the Nazi deportation from France."

  • Levinas, Blanchot, Jabes: Figures of Estrangement. With a Foreword by S. E. Gontarski. Crosscurrents: Comparative Studies in European Literature and Philosophy. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997, xvi 208pp.

"In this first critical study to consider together the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Edmond Jabes, Gary D. Mole demonstrates and compares the ways in which these writers have been instrumental in raising those issues of Jewishness that have been so central to contemporary postmodern thought. The questions of writing and exile, the opposition between ethics and metaphysics, and the central disaster of the Shoah emerge as the dominant themes of each writer, and Mole explores the ways in which they borrow from, respond to, and challenge each other in a dialogic fashion. Specifically, Mole traces their engagement with Jewish tradition and thought, exploring their overlapping considerations of the etranger; of Revelation and the Law through the figure of Moses; and of ethics, dialogue, and silence in the story of Abra(ha)m. Finally, he looks at the ways each identifies the imperative of responding to the Shoah and its repercussions for philosophical, fictional, and poetic discourse. Judicious close readings and an accessible style help to render the work of these important thinkers intelligible to the specialist and nonspecialist reader alike while clearly situating them in their postmodern context and revealing their tremendous influence on a generation of philosophers and writers."

Books Translated

  • Michael de Saint Cheron, Conversations with Emmanuel Levinas, 1983-1994. With a Translator's Foreword. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2010, xix 175pp.

"An ardent admirer and student of Emmanuel Levinas during the last decade of the philosopher's life, Michael de Saint Cheron sat down with his mentor for these interviews, conducted in 1983, 1992, and 1994. Throughout, their conversations provide further insight into the key concepts of responsibility, transcendence, holiness, and the hostage for understanding Levinas's notion of ethics as first philosophy. As Levinas and Saint Cheron discuss a variety of topics--death and time in the philosophies of Heidegger and Bergson, eros and the feminine, the Judeo-Christian dialogue, Levinas's differences of thought with Paul Ricœur, reflections on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the "end of history" with the fall of Western Communism--we can clearly see Levinas's ceaseless engagement with the justification for living after such horrors as those of Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Stalinism, Cambodia, or Rwanda. Included here as well, following the interviews, are several essays in which Saint Cheron presents his own further considerations of their conversations and Levinas's ideas. He writes of the relation of the epiphany of the face to the idea of holiness; of Sartre and, in particular, that existentialist thinker's "revision" of Jews and Judaism in his final controversial dialogues with Benny Levy; of the epiphanies of death in Andre Malraux's writings; and of the radical breach effected in the Western philosophical tradition by Levinas's "otherwise-than-thinking". Finally, Saint Cheron pays homage to Levinas's talmudic readings in an analysis of forgiveness and the unforgivable in Jewish tradition and liturgy, culminating in an inevitable confrontation with the Shoah from the perspective of Simon Wiesenthal's harrowing The Sunflower and some of the contemporary reactions to it."

  • Emmanuel Levinas, Beyond the Verse. Talmudic Readings and Lectures. New edition: New York and London: Continuum, 2007, Coll. Impacts, 214pp.

"Available in paperback for the first time, this is an important collection of essays dealing with problems in Jewish thought."

  • Emmanuel Levinas, Beyond the Verse. Talmudic Readings and Lectures. London and Bloomington: Athlone Press and Indiana University Press, 1994, 221pp.

"An important collection of essays dating from between 1969 and 1980, treating specific Jewish problems: exegetic methodology, points of Jewish doctrine, Jewish religious philosophy, and contemporary political and cultural issues. It also includes five Talmudic readings. This work will be of wide interest to the philosophical and religious communities at large."











Production écrite: reformulation, structuration, articulation


Lundi 10-12, Annuel


Rimbaud et la poésie de l'impossible


Lundi 12-14,



Littérature des camps: Jorge Semprun et Charlotte Delbo



Jeudi 10-12, Sem 1


Littérature et politique: Discours de la négritude dans la poésie de Césaire et de Senghor


Jeudi 12-14 Sem 1







Research Fields

I research mainly in French and Francophone literature, culture, and thought of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with particular emphasis on the relations between literature, violence, and modern warfare, and the problematic relation between aesthetics and ethics. I have written extensively on Maurice Blanchot, Edmond Jabès, and Emmanuel Lévinas, on the representation of the deportation and the Holocaust in poetry, fiction, and eye-witness prose accounts, on various bodies of poetry composed during the Great War (combat poetry, prisoner-of-war poetry, women's poetry), and on contemporary French Jewish intellectuals. I have also published on poets and writers of the Middle Ages (Jean Bodel, François Villon), and on the eighteenth century (Choderlos de Laclos).

Recent MA and PhD theses supervised

“Collaboration, résistance, épuration: le cas de l'Académie Française, 1940-1945 (Abel Bonnard, Abel Hermant, Pierre Benoit, Alfred Baudrillart)”—Marie Ben-Hamou (MA)

“La réaction des intellectuels français face à l'antisémitisme/antisionisme: "la nouvelle judéophobie" depuis la second intifada”—Magalie Azoulay (MA)

“Le prophétisme au quotidien ou André Neher et l’existence juive”—Gaëlle Sebbag (MA)

“L’expérience d’une mémoire: Jorge Semprun”—Natasha Cohen (MA)

“Le rôle du philtre: Tristan et Iseut, Victor Hugo, Verdi, et Patrick Süskind”—Ilana Obadia-Mendès (MA)

“Le rire, le risible et leurs coïncidences dans le théâtre de Michel Tremblay”—Tamar Sicari-Israël (Ph.D)

“Érotisme et danger: désir, transgression et dames aventurières dans les Lais de Marie de France”—Tovi Bibring (Ph.D)

Current Research Projects

Following the award of a three-year research grant from the Israel Science Foundation, I am currently conducting research for a book-length study of Francophone Jewish Poetry of the Shoah. I am also continuing to research for a book on French combat poetry of the First World War, while collecting material and ideas for an extended investigation into the narrative strategies involved in the representation of violence, war, and genocide (Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast) in postcolonial Francophone Sub-Saharan African fiction.



Awards, Grants, Research Proposals


2013-2016: Awarded Individual Research Grant for three years, NIS 243,000, for research project on “The Representation of the Shoah in Francophone Jewish Poetry”, Israel Science Foundation, Israel

2009-2010: Participating member of a new proposed MA programme: "Teaching Modern French Culture and Language in a Cross-Cultural Perspective", Yad Hanadiv Inter-University Grant for the Humanities. Principal redactors and co-ordinators: Dr Galia Yanoshevsky (Bar-Ilan) and Prof. Nadine Kuperty-Tsur (Tel-Aviv)

2008: Research proposal on Francophone Jewish Holocaust Poetry, Senior Research Fellowship, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., USA

2008: Research proposal on French-language Holocaust Poetry, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York, USA

2003: Research proposal for work on contemporary French Jewish intellectuals, Fondation du judaïsme français, Paris

2001: Excellence in Teaching Award, Bar-Ilan University

1996: Research proposal for project on French deportation poetry, Israel Science Foundation, Israel

1996-1999: Alon postdoctoral Fellowship, Israel, held at French Department, Bar-Ilan University

1987-1990: Ph.D British Academy Scholarship, held at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge