Shira Wilkof

Shira Wilkof is a historian of modern landscape, urban planning, and the environment. Her research and teaching interests include transnational history of spatial knowledge; environmental history of design; infrastructure studies; and Palestine/Israel landscape production. She is especially interested in how the complex relations amongst the design disciplines—and the multiplicity of professional voices—shapes spatial realities. She is currently working on her book manuscript which explores the pre-1948 work of little-known Jewish émigré planners in Palestine. The study challenges the well-entrenched modernist ethos of the Sharon Plan, while shedding new light on the professional and intellectual origins of Israel’s ethnonational planning regime. Her current project explores the postwar history of sustainability. The study traces a largely unknown transnational network of landscape architects, whose work during the 1950s-1960s served as a laboratory for environmental planning on a global scale, anticipating much of today’s ecological challenges.

She is the head of the “Historical Digital Lab on Landscape and Infrastructure,” which focuses on preserving and analyzing historical documentation in landscape planning and infrastructure in Israel. Combining both qualitative archival practices and advanced DH analysis tools, the lab brings diverse disciplines from across the humanities, social sciences, and design practice into conversation with one another on landscape history and its lessons.

Wilkof’s research has been supported by Dan David Postdoctoral Prize, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the humanities, Thomas Arnold Fellowship (Tel Aviv University), the Rosenzweig Center (Hebrew University), and the Spinoza Fellowship (Haifa University).

She completed her PhD studies in UC Berkeley in History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism (2017). She holds an M.Sc. in Urban and Regional Planning at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (2011) and a B.A. degree in History and Geography at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2008).

Main Research Interests

    • Transnational circulation of urban and landscape knowledge
    • Environmental history in design & History of sustainability
    • Infrastructure studies
    •  Palestine/Israel landscape production