Prof. Tamar Liebes

Academic Background and Fields of Interest

Following years of working as producer and editor on Israel's Public Radio, I have moved to the side lines in order to observe, analyze and often critique the workings of media.   

As a member, later Chair of the Communication Dpt. at the Hebrew University, I was witness to the development of media studies as an academic field and to its gradually growing popularity. I still don’t know the answer to the endless debate about whether the study of media is a discipline or should be seen as multi-disciplinary. I tend to agree with Elihu Katz (the father of the field in Israel) that it is the latter, namely, focusing on an area of research by the use of multiple methods and perspectives taken from various fields in the humanities and the social sciences.  

I started by asking about the impact of American popular culture on our multicultural world, looking at the issue by analyzing both the messages hidden in the texts and their reception by viewers in various countries. 

Later on in my career and as an Israeli I could not ignore subjects such as the media's changing role at times of war and terror, and have been drawn to analyze the historically changing relationships among media, war and terror in Israel and in other countries. 

I do believe that in spite of the current enthusiasm about "new media" researchers need a historical perspective for analyzing texts and technologies in various cultures at certain points in time. Otherwise scholarship is not very different from the work of journalists.

Selected Publications


Liebes, T. and Kampf, Z. (forthcoming 2013). Transforming Media Coverage of Violent Conflicts: The New Face of War. Palgrave McMillan

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1990). The Export of Meaning: Cross-Cultural Readings of Dallas. Oxford University Press.

Liebes, T. (1997). Reporting the Arab Israeli Conflict: How Hegemony Works. London: Routledge.

Books and Edited Journals

Liebes, T. (1994). Special issue: Narrativization of the News. Narrative and Life History, 4.

Liebes, T. & Curran, J. (1998). Media, Ritual and Identity. London and New York: Routledge.

Liebes, T. (2003). American Dreams, Hebrew Subtitles: Globalization from the   Receiving End. Hampton Press

Katz, E. & Liebes, T. & Peters, J. Are There Any? Should There Be? How About These? Canonic Texts in Media Research, Cambridge, Britain: Polity Press. 2003

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2009). Special Issue: Who's the Bigger Brother? How War Aggravates the Relationships  Among Media, Government and Public. The Communication Review, 12 (3).

Liebes, T. & Kampf , Z. (2010). Homolus Televisionis: Transforming the Logic of Reporting in at Crisis. Special issue on Media Coverage in Asymmetric Conflict.   Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 3(2). 


Liebes, T. (1984). Shades of Meaning in President Sadat’s Knesset Speech. Semiotica, 48(3-4), 229-265.

Liebes, T. (1984). The Use of Stereotypes in Lawyers’ Rhetoric in Court. Text, 4(1-3), 178-192.

Liebes, T. & Elihu, K.(1986). Patterns of Involvement in Television Fiction: A Comparative Study”, European Journal of Communication, 1(2), 151-172.

Liebes, T. (1989). But There Are Facts: Comments on Roeh. American Behavioral Scientist, 33, 169-171.

Katz, E., Liebes, T. & Berko, L. (1992). On Commuting Between Television Fiction and Real Life. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 14(1-2), 157-178.

Liebes, T. (1992). Decoding TV News: The Political Discourse of Israeli Hawks and Doves. Theory and Society, 21, 357-381.

Lienes, T. (1992).Television, Parents and the Political Socialization of Children”, Teachers College
Record, 94, 1,73-86.

Liebes, T. (1992).'Our’ War/’Their’ War: Comparing the Intifada and the Gulf War on U.S. and Israel Television .Critical Studies in Mass Communication , 9 (1), 1-12.

Liebes, T. & Ribak, R. (1992). The Contribution of Family Culture to Political Participation, Political Outlook and its Reproduction. Communication Research, 19 (5), 618-641.

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1993). Television and Conversation: Interaction about and Via ‘Dallas’ Hermes (in French), 112-138.

Liebes, T. & Ribak, R. (1993). Socialization to Conflict: How Jewish and Arab Adolescents in Israel Negotiate Their Political Identity. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 5(4), 361-368.

Liebes, T. & Ribak, R. (1994). In Defense of Negotiated Readings: The Decoding of Intifada News. Journal of Communication , 44(2), 108-124.

Liebes, T. Blum-Kulka, S.(1994). Managing a Moral Dilemma: Israeli Soldiers in the Intifada. Armed Forces and Society , 21(1), 45-69.

Liebes, T. (1994). Debating the Portrayal of the Other As One of Us: Palestinians in the New Israeli Cinema”, Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, 16 (1), 30-36.

Liebes, T. & Bar-Nahum, Y. (1994). What a Relief – When the Press Prefers Celebration to Scandal. Political Communication, 11, 35-48.

Liebes, T. (1994). Crimes of Reporting. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 4, 1-2.

Liebes, T. (1994). Narrativization of the News. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 4, 1-9.

Liebes, T. & Livingstone, S, (1994). The Structure of Family and Romantic Ties in the Soap Opera: An Ethnographic Approach. Communication Research, 21 (6), 717-741.

Liebes, T. (1995). A Propos de la Participation du Telespectateur. Reseaux, 64, 93-106 (in French).

Liebes, T. (1995). Another Journey by Train: How Television can put Holocaust Victims on the Defensive”, Media, Culture and Society, 17 (2), 309-317.

Livingstone, S. & Liebes, T. (1995). Where Have all the Mothers Gone? Soap Opera’s Replaying of the Oedipal Story, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 12 (2), 155-175.

Liebes, T. (1995). Keeping up with Popular Culture: The Lost Battle of Mass Media Researchers. Semiotica, 106 (3-4), 1-4.

Liebes, T. & Grissek, R. (1995). Television News and the Politicization of Women. In D. Paletz (ed.), Political Communication in Action, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 277-298.

Liebes, T. (1996). The Enemy as ‘Real’ and as ‘Imaginary’: The Palestinians on Israeli Television News. In: Crawford (ed.), The Construction of the Viewer: Media, Ethnography and the Anthropology of the Audience, Hojbierg, Denmark: Intervention Press 244-254.

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1997). Staging Peace: Televised Ceremonies of Reconciliation. The Communication Review, 2 (2), 235-257.

Liebes, T. & Peri, Y. (1998). Electronic Journalism in Segmented Societies: Lessons From the 1996 Israeli Election. Political Communication, 15 (1), 27-43.

Liebes, T. & Livingstone, S. (1998). European Soap Operas: The Diversification of a Genre. The European Journal of Communication, 13 (2), 147-180.

Lemish, D., Drotner, K., Liebes, T. & Maigret, E. (1998). Global Culture in Practice: A Look at Children and Adolescents in Denmark, France and Israel. European Journal of Communication, 13(4), 539-556.

Liebes, T. (1998). Personal Tragedy and Public Space in Television’s Disaster Marathons”. Assaf, 4 (1), 59-69.

Liebes, T. (1998/99). Will I be Pretty, Will I be Rich?’ Teenage Girls’ Cultural Images of Future Success. Reseaux  17, 189-216 [in French].

Liebes, T. (1999). Displacing the News: The Israeli Talkshow as Public Space”, Gazette, 61(2), 113-125.

Liebes, T. (1999). The Representation of the Public in the Media”, European Journal of Communication Research, 23(3), 321-329.

Liebes, T. (2000). Inside a News Item: A Dispute Over Framing”, Political Communication 17(3), 295 - 305.

Liebes, T. (2000). What’s Bothering Eliasoph? Types of Political Talk in Avoiding     Politics. The Communication Review,  4(1), 95-103.

Talmon, M. & Liebes, T. (2000). Omrim Yeshnah Eretz: Space and Identity in the Israeli Television Series Bat-Yam New York and Florentine. Qesher , [in Hebrew].

Blondheim, M. & Liebes, T. (2002). Live Television's Disaster of September 11 and its Subversive Potential. Prometheus, 29 (3), 271-277.

Liebes, T. (2005). Acoustic Space: The Role of Radio in Israeli Collective History", Jewish History, 1-22.

Liebes, T. & Blum Kulka, S. (2005). It Takes Two to Blow the Whistle: Do Journalists Control the Outbreak of Scandals? American Behaviorist Scientist  47 (9), 1153-1170.

Pincheveski, A., Liebes T. & Herman, O. (2007). Eichmann on the Air: Radio and the Making of a Historic Trial. Historic Journal of Radio Cinema and Television, 27 (1), 1-25.

Katz, E. & Liebes, T. (2007). No More Peace!’ How Disaster, Terror and War Upstaged Media Events. The International Journal of Communication, 1, 157 – 166.

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2007). Routinizing Terror: Media Coverage and Public Practices: Israel 1996-2004. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 11-12, 108-116.

Blondheim, M. & Liebes, T. (2002) . From Disaster Marathon to Media Event: Live Television’s Performance on September 11 2001 and 2002, Prometheus, 29, 3.

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2007). From spider webs to "fortified wall": the positioning of the civilians in the second Lebanon war. Igarta, 2, Tel Aviv university, [Hebrew], 

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2007). Black, white and shades of gray: Palestinians in the Israeli media during the second Intifada. Media Frames, 1, 1-26 [Hebrew].

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2008). Saddam on CBS and Arafat on IBA Interviewing the Enemy on Television. Political Communication, 25(3), 311.

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2009). Performance Journalism: The case of media's coverage of war and terror. The Communication Review 12, 3.

Pinchevski, A. & Liebes T. (2010). Severed Voices: Radio and the Mediation of Culture. Public Culture, 22 (2) 

Tamar Liebes and Zoahr Kampf  (2010) "Hallo? It's Jerusalem Calling": The revival of spoken Hebrew on the Mandatory Radio." (1936-1948). Israeli History, 29, 2,

Chapters in Books 

Katz, E. & Liebes, T. (1985). Mutual Aid in the Decoding of ‘Dallas’: Preliminary Notes From a Cross-cultural Study. In: Drummond and Patterson (eds.), Television in Transition, London: British Film Institute.

Reprinted in: J. Gumpert and R. Cathcart, (eds.), Intermedia, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1986. In abbreviated form, as “Once Upon a Time in Dallas”, Intermedia, (International Institute of Communication, London), 12(3), 1984, 28-32.

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1988). ’Dallas’ and ‘Genesis’: Primordiality and Seriality in Television Fiction. In: J. Carey, (ed.), Media, Myths and Narratives, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 113-125.

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1988). Keys to the Forum: Mechanisms Through which Television Fiction Triggers Talk of Social Issues”, in: Mathien et al. (eds.), La Physique des Sciences de l’homme, Strasbourg: Oberlin, 62-84.

Liebes, T.(1989). On the Convergence of Theories of Mass Communication and Literature Regarding the Role of the Viewer’, in: B. Dervin (ed.), Progress in Communication Sciences, Norwood, NJ., Ablex, 123-144.

Liebes, T. & Katz, E. (1989). On the Critical Abililty of Television Viewers”, in: E. Seiter, H. Borchers, G. Kreutzner and E. Warth (eds.), Remote Control: Television Audience and Cultural Power, London and New York: Routledge, 204-222. (Paperback edition, 1991).

Liebes, T, & Livingstone, S. (1992). Mothers and Lovers: How American and British Soap Operas Cope with Women’s Dilemma”, in: J.G. Blumler, J.M. McLeod and K.E. Rosengren (eds.), Comparatively Speaking, Sage, 94-120.

Blum-Kulka, S. & Liebes,T. (1993). Frame Ambiguities: Narrativization of the Intifada Experience by Israeli Soldiers”, in: A. Cohen and G. Wolfsfeld, (eds.), Framing the Intifada: Media and People, Ablex, 27-52.

Liebes, T. (1996). Ethics in Journalism: The Case of Israel”, in: I. Hamm, (ed.), Verantwortung in Freien Medien Markt, (German), Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 44-67.

Liebes, T. (1996) “Notes on the Struggle to Define Involvement in Television Viewing”, in: J. Hay, L. Grossberg and E. Wartella (eds.), The Audience and Its Landscapes, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 46-59. Reprinted in Sociologie du Travail, in press, [French].

Liebes, T. (1997). In Favor of ‘Bad News’: An Experiment in Teaching the Role of the Press in Israel”, in: R. Kubey (ed.), Media Literacy in The Information Age: Current Perspectives: Information and Behaviour, Vol. VI, New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Press, 345-355.

Liebes, T. (1997). Talk Shows as the New Public Sphere”, in: D. Caspi (ed.), Democracy and the Media in Israel, (Hebrew), Hakibbutz Hameuchad and the Van Leer Institute, 141-152.

Liebes, T. (1997). Broadcasting in Israel”, in: H. Newcomb (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Television, Austin: University of Texas, 834-836.

Liebes, T. (1998). Audience Decodings of Television News: Israeli Findings”, in: K. Jensen (ed.), News of the World: Audience Uses of Television News in World Cultures, London: Routledge, 88-102.

     Liebes, T. (1998). Television’s Disaster Marathons: A Danger to Democratic Processes?” in: T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds.), Media, Ritual and Identity, London and New York: Routledge, 71-86.

Curran, J. and Liebes, T. (1998). The Intellectual Legacy of Elihu Katz”, in: T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds.), Media, Ritual and Identity, London and New York: Routledge, 3-23.

Blum-Kulka, S. & Liebes, T. (2000). Peres Versus Netanyahu: Television Wins the Debate”, in: S. Coleman (ed.), Televised Election Debates: International Perspectives.  London: Macmillan, 66-92.

Liebes, T. (1999). “Mediated Incitement: Media’s Dilemma”, in: E. Yinon (ed.), The Rule of Law in a Polarized Society: Legal, Social and Cultural Aspects. The Israel Democracy Institute, [Hebrew], 133-149.

Liebes, T. (2000). Performing a Dream and its Dissolution: A Socio-Schematic History     of Broadcasting in Israel”, in: J. Curran and M. J. Park (eds.), De-westernising Media Studies, London: Routledge, 305-324.

Lemish, D. & Liebes, T. (2001). Gendered Media Meanings and Uses”, in: S. Livingstone, M. Bovill and G. Gaskell, (eds.), Children in Their Changing Media Environment. London and New York: Erlbaum. 

Liebes, T. (2002). “Women’s Incorporation in Television’s Public Space”, in Y. Atzmon, (ed.), Representations of Women in Israeli Culture. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, [Hebrew]. 

Liebes, T. (2003). “Herzog’s ‘On Borrowed Experience’: Its Place in the Debate Over ‘Active’/’Regressive’ Consumers”, in: E. Katz, T. Liebes and J. Peters, (eds.), Are There Any? Should There Be? How About These? Canonic Texts in Media Research. Cambridge, Britain: Polity Press.

Liebes, T. & First, A. (2003). Framing the Palestinian Israeli Conflict", in P. Norris, M. Kern and M Just (eds.), Framing Terrorism: The News Media, the government and the Public. New York and London: Routledege.

Liebes, T. & Kampf, Z. (2004). The P.R. of Terror: How new-style Wars give Voice to Terrorists", in B. Zelizer and S. Allan (eds.), Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime. New York and London: Routledege.

Liebes, T. (2005). "Viewing and reviewing the audience: Fashions in Communication Research", in J. Curran & M. Gurevitch (eds.) Mass Media and Society, 4th edition. Hodder Arnold. 

Liebes, T. (2005). Changing Fashions in Audience Research," in J. Curran and M. Gurevitch (eds.), Mass Media and Society.

Liebes, T. & Blondheim, M. (2005). Myths to the Rescue: How Live Television  Intervenes in history," in E.W. Rothenbuhler and M. Coman (eds.), Media Anthropology, Sage.

Liebes, T. (2007). "Hear O Israel":  Radio, Nationbuilding and Collective Memory," in D. Mendels (ed.), On Memory: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Peter Lang.

Reprinted as "The Voice of Jacob: Radio's Role in Reviving a Nation," in L. Spiegel et al. (eds.), Electronic Elsewheres. In press.

Blondheim,  M. & Liebes, T. (2008). Archaic Witnessing and Contemporary News Media in P. Frosh & A. Pinshevski (eds.), Witnessing.

Blondheim, M. & Liebes, T. (2009) television news and the nation: the end? in E, Katz & P. Scannell (eds.), The End of Television.