יונתן מטיוס

Jonathan Matthews

The cultural and political relations between the colonial world and Europe during the 19th and the 20th centuries

My current topic of interest concerns the cultural and political relations between the colonial world and Europe during the 19th and the 20th centuries. The thesis deals with the exchange of letters between Albert Einstein and prominent Indian political and cultural figures such as Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore. This correspondence reveals much about the attitude and approach of Einstein, and perhaps more generally the attitude of German-Jewish exiled intellectuals, to the Indian and imperialist question in the times of turmoil and world war, as well as colonial approaches to the ongoing events and questions of the time such as Zionism. I have reached this topic while working as a research assistant for Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi, which included reading in the Albert Einstein archives in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Other topics which interest me are the multiplicity of identities and memories in the British imperial sphere. This includes the involvement of minorities and the smaller British nations (Welsh, Scottish, Irish, British Jews etc.) in the colonial project, as well as the involvement of the colonised peoples (such as Indians, Arabs, Palestine Jews etc.) in the imperial bureaucracy and military. My thesis for the Hebrew University School of History excellence program dealt with the development of a joint imperial British-Welsh identity in the early modern era, under the guidance of Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky.

Otherwise, I work also as an administrative assistant at the Minerva Koebner Centre for German History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a licensed tour guide in the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial and museum.