Dr Alexandru Bar

Dr Alexandru Bar


I am currently a Visiting Short-term LHRI Postdoctoral Fellow at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (2018-2019). I have just completed my PhD titled “The multilayered identity of Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco - the archives of an identity issue” at the University of Leeds under the supervision of Dr. Helen Finch and Prof. Stuart Taberner and having as External Adviser Prof. Michael White (University of York). My Doctoral studentship was fully-funded by the AHRC and was part of the Performing the Jewish Archives project.  Originally from Romania, I am a graduate from Tel Aviv University (Israel), with a Master’s of Arts in Political Science and Political Communication (MASA Scholarship 2012-2013), and I hold a BA in Political Science from the University of Bucharest as well as a BA in Communication and Public Relations from The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration.

Within the Performing the Jewish Archives project, I worked in collaboration with the Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah and the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association Leeds to create a series of interactive workshops in response to the consistent demand from schools for talks from Holocaust survivors. The aim of this project was to create a series of interactive workshops which creates a more engaging and artistic experience for school students and their teachers and it is in the spirit of the ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ project, which is motivated by a desire to recover archival materials, and to stimulate the creation of new works to re-animate existing archival repositories in order to establish a link between past, present and future. This project focused on the volunteer speakers who were picking up from where the eyewitnesses have left off and looked at how they can engage young people in schools. We succeeded to convince schools that these volunteer talks can be as effective in encountering the stories of the Holocaust as meeting a living witness.


  • A. Bar, The transformation of Tristan Tzara’s and Marcel Janco’s national identity, Peer-reviewed international Journal “Judaica Petropolitana,” University of Saint-Petersburg, forthcoming 2018. 

Conference participation as a speaker:

2018: British Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference “Theories and Histories: Jewish Studies Across Disciplines”, Durham, 9-11 July 2018;

2018: International conference "Rationalism and Mysticism in Jewish Philosophy: Sources and Contexts,” Saint-Petersburg State University The Department of Jewish Culture, May 29-31, 2018. 

2017: Arts, Humanities & Cultures Poster Conference, University of Leeds;

2016: DADA Techniques in East-Central Europe (1916–1930), International Conference organized by the Pet?fi Literary Museum – Kassák Museum and the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 13–15 October;
2016: Australian Association for Jewish Studies, 28th Annual Conference, 14-15 February;

2015: International Conference - The Avant-Garde and the Jews - University of Antwerp - February 2-4;

2015: The 27th Annual AAJS Conference UNSW and the Shalom Institute, Kensington, Sydney, 15-17 February; 

2014: “The Jews and the Nation-States of South-Eastern Europe 1848 To the Great Depression” International Conference, Trieste,12-13 May 

Conference Organisation (as a Conference Coordinator):

2016: DAAD-sponsored Postgraduate Conference, 'German Pasts - German Futures’, 4-7 May, (University of Leeds)

Research interests

My research interests cut across Jewish studies, political science, and philosophy. More precisely, I am interested in the Jewish identity in the context of the politics of national unification in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Europe with a special interest in the Romanian case; my research interests include also Romanian-Jews in avant-garde movements, Romanian-Jewish history and culture from the perspective of oppression, the politics of memory, art and politics.

Current research:

My current research project is a continuation of my PhD research which explores Tristan Tzara’s and Marcel Janco’s identity formation seen from their position of struggle as Jews to come to terms with the antisemitic manifestations in Romania and Europe, lack of citizenship and lack of equal rights. These two Romanian-born Jews were active members of the European historical avant-garde, founding fathers of the Dada movement in Europe. Marcel Janco is an under-researched artist, especially in comparison to Tzara, and my current postdoc project examines the important place of Janco amongst the avant-garde artists, with his industrial design which revolutionized architecture entirely, but also as an influential though understudied figure in the discussion of ‘Jewish identity’. Janco provides an important way to think through the formation of avant-garde/artistic Jewish identity through the long twentieth century, from Romania pre-WWI to interwar Paris and Switzerland to the foundation of Israel.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>