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Tamar Novick is a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. She holds a PhD from the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University, and recently held a teaching fellowship at the Cohn Institute at TAU, and a guest professorship at the Chair for Science Studies, ETH Zürich. At the MPIWG, she leads the Out of Place, Out of Time working group.

Novick’s research lies at the intersection of history of technology, environmental history, animal studies, and Middle East studies. Her book, Milk & Honey: Technologies of Plenty in the Making of a Holy Land (MIT Press, 2023), examines the ways in which technology became means for erecting a mystical past in modern Palestine/Israel. It focuses on the bodies that were involved, literally, in producing honey and milk, and in the reproduction of settler populations: honeybees, cows, sheep, goats, horses, and people.


Novick, Tamar. Milk & Honey: Technologies of Plenty in the Making of a Holy Land. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2023.

Special Issues

Novick, Tamar, Lisa Onaga, and Gabriel Rosenberg, guest editors of the special issue: “Knowing Animals, Moving Animals,” Osiris 40 (2024)

Novick, Tamar, guest editor of the special issue: “Bovine Regimes: When Animals Become Technologies,” Technology and Culture 64.4 (2023)

Artikel und Buchkapitel

Novick, Tamar: “The Hand, The Hoe, and the Hose: Contested Technologies of Settler Colonialism,” in F. Bray, D. Schäfer, T. Saraiva, and M. Valleiani, and S. Chirikure (eds), Cambridge Handbook for the History of Technology, Vol. II (forthcoming)

Ben-Shachar, Erela and Tamar Novick: “Vegetables Women: Agricultural Knowledge and Becoming Settlers in Palestine,” special issue: “Women in Agriculture and Horticulture,” Endeavors (forthcoming 2024)

Novick, Tamar: “Treasures, Palestine/Israel, 1979,” in S. Blacker, E. Brownell, A. Nag, M. Schlünder, H. Verran, and S. Van Beurden (eds), The Planning Moment: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2023)

Novick, Tamar: “On the Cover: Speculations with Vaginal Specula,” Technology and Culture 64.4 (2023)

Beech, Lucy and Tamar Novick: “Sex Panic and Productive Infertility of the Freemartin,” Technology and Culture 64.4 (2023)

Ilani, Ofri, Alma Itzhaky, Tamar Novick, Liron Shani, and Eran Schwartzkopf: “What is New in Nature? A Roundtable on Onagers, Barbary Figs, and People in Israel’s Anthropocene,” Theory and Criticism 57 (2023) (in Hebrew)

Novick, Tamar: “On All Fours: Transient Laborers, the Threat of Movement, and the Aftermath of Disease,” special issue: “Medical Mobilities in the Middle East,” Bulletin for the History of Medicine 96.3 (2022), 431-457

Novick, Tamar: “Local Biology,” Zmanim: A Historical Quarterly 145, special issue: “History of Biology” (2021), 80-89 (in Hebrew)

Novick, Tamar: “All About Stavit: A Beastly Biography,” special issue: “Animality,” Theory and Criticism 51 (2019), 15-40 (in Hebrew)

Novick, Tamar: “The Discovery of Urine,” special issue: “Research Materials: Logistics, Logics, Traditions,” Nach Feierabend. Zürcher Jahrbuch für Wissensgeschichte 14 (2018), 139-149 (in German)

Novick, Tamar. “Technologies of Movement in Late Ottoman Palestine,” in L. Kozma, C. Schayegh, and A. Wishnitzer (eds), A Global Middle East: Mobility, Materiality and Culture in the Modern Age, 1880-1940 (London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2014), 263-269

Novick, Tamar: “Bible, Bees, and Boxes: The Creation of ‘the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey’ in Palestine, 1880-1931,” special issue “Food, Power, and Meaning in the Middle East,” Food, Culture and Society 16.2 (2013), 281-299

Novick, Tamar: “Jump-Starting Society: Polio in Israel in 1950,” special issue: “Infectious Diseases and Epidemics in Palestine/Israel,” Korot – The Israeli Journal of the History of Medicine and Science 21 (2012), 149-174

In her current research, Novick explores the process by which bodily waste became central to scientific research and practice after World War I. Her second book project, Fountain of Knowledge: How Science Turned Urine into Gold, focuses specifically on the centrality of human and animal urine to twentieth century scientific and medical projects. More broadly, she is interested in the ways in which materials gain and lose value across different worlds of practice. Other projects deal with animal theft, and with zoological collections in the Middle East.

Current Research Topics

  • agricultural technologies
  • animals
  • bodily waste
  • reproduction sciences
  • zoological collections in the Middle East