Neta Stahl’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of literature, religion, and culture. She works on a broad range of modern Hebrew writers, from S.Y Agnon and Uri Zvi Grinberg to the contemporary author Yoel Hoffmann.
She won grants from National Endowment for the Humanities and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and received the Koret Publication prize for first book in Jewish Studies.
Her most recent book, The Divine in Modern Hebrew Literature was published in March 2020 with Routledge. The book offers a panoramic and multilayered analysis of the various strategies in which modern Hebrew writers, from the turn of the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century pursued in their attempt to represent the divine in the face of metaphysical, theological, and representational challenges.
Stahl is also the author of Other and Brother: The Figure of Jesus in the 20th-Century Jewish Literary Landscape (Oxford University Press, 2013), which is an expanded English edition of her Hebrew book, TZELEM YEHUDI (Resling Press, 2008). In 2017 she published her book Drawings of the Heart: The Poetics of Yoel Hoffmann (Reslings Press, in Hebrew). In this book, Stahl shows how basic reading norms are challenged in Hoffmann’s novels. One of her main arguments is that a central motivation for Hoffmann’s writing is a quasi-systematic literary study of the question: “What is a Man?”. Stahl suggests to read Hoffmann’s work as a literary-anthropological project that is meant, in Hoffmann’s words, to render “the precise man that we remember… the hero of this book that we’re writing (and all of the books that we’ve written to date).” These lines are taken from two different paragraphs of Hoffmann’s latest book, Moods (2010), which in many ways, summarizes the entire body of Hoffmann’s work.
Stahl has served as the director of the Stulman Program in Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins since 2017. In 2020 she became the co-editor of Lyre: Studies in Poetry and Lyric (Bar-Ilan University Press), which focuses on Jewish poetry.