Jewish, Late Modern Europe
I am a historian of modern Europe and the Mediterranean, with specialties in modern Jewish history and the history of modern France and its empire.
To date, my scholarship has focused in four principal areas. The first is the history of Jewish-Muslim relations and the nature of belonging and exclusion in modern France and the Francophone world. These were the central themes of my first book, The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France (Harvard University Press, 2015). There I traced the entangled and disparate paths of Jews and Muslims in France since World War I, and their triangular relationship with one another and with the French state and notions of what it means to be French. Along with several other scholars, I have revisited many of those themes in light of recent developments in France in a forthcoming special issue of the journal Jewish History entitled "Jews and Muslims in France Before and After Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher" (co-edited with Jonathan Judaken) In the course of the research for my first book, I developed a strong interest as well in a second area, the history of Jews in colonial societies. My co-edited book (with Lisa Moses Leff and Maud Mandel) Colonialism and the Jews (Indiana, 2017) offers the most extended examination to date of Jewish history in light of the new colonial history (and vice versa), focusing on the Francophone sphere but including comparisons that stretch as far as the British Antipodes, the Russian hinterlands, and Eastern European colonial aspirations in Latin America.
My new book project takes many of these themes in a new direction and enters into a third field, Holocaust Studies. This project, provisionally entitled Freeing the Empire: The Jewish Uprising That Helped the Allies Win the War, will chronicle the fascinating yet little-known story of an uprising in Algiers from 1940 to 1943 that proved vital to the success of Operation Torch. The insurgents of Algiers were made up of mostly Jewish shock troops working alongside arch-conservative French officers and businessmen and coordinating with the Allied forces. This book offers a micro-history in global context, examining in intricate detail the makeup and operations of this movement, while using their story to remap the wider history of Jewish wartime resistance; it reassesses as well such issues as the meaning of the choice to resist and the complex relationship between colonialism and the Holocaust.
The final major interest in my work has been the need to rethink the relationship between the secular and religion in modern Jewish life. This was the subject of another co-edited book (with Ari Joskowicz), Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times (UPenn Press, 2015), which attempted the first sustained engagement between the so-called "secularism debate" of the last 20 years and Jewish studies. I am currently co-directing (with Elisha Anscelovits and Sergey Dolgopolski) an a joint initiative of scholars from North America, Israel, and Europe that takes these issues in new direction. Our focus is at once to break down and better understand the chasm between more text-focused, often traditionalist perspectives on Jewish studies and those that emphasize more context and theory. This project, entitled "Devotion and Relativity, Text and Context: New Frontiers of Jewish Literacy," will be launched with a two-day international, interdisciplinary workshop in New York City this fall at the Center for Jewish History and Yeshivat Maharat. In all of my work, transnational and comparative perspectives are fundamental to the approach, and I frequently draw insights from various disciplines outside of History.
I have regularly taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level on Jewish history, late modern Europe, the Mediterranean, Jews and Muslims, religion in the modern world, modern France and its empire, and historical methodologies.
I am eager to work with graduate students with interests that intersect with any of my own research and teaching emphases, and would be happy to help advise prospective students on the application process.
- Modern Jewish history
- Modern France and its empire
- North Africa
- Religion and secularism in the modern world
- Jewish-Muslim relations
- Collective memory
- Jews in colonial societies
- Trans-national history
- History of citizenship
Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2018-present
Associate Professor of History, University of Cincinnati, 2016-2018
Lady Davis Visiting Professor in Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2016-2017
Assistant Professor of History, University of Cincinnati, 2010-2016
Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 2009
Select Honors & Awards
J. Russell Major Prize for the best book in French history, American Historical Association, 2016
American Library in Paris Book Award for the most distinguished book in English about France or the French, American Library in Paris and the Florence Gould Foundation, 2016
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2016
Ohio Academy of History Distinguished Book Award, junior category, 2017
David H. Pinkney Prize for the best book in French history by a North American-based scholar, Society for French Historical Studies, 2016
National Jewish Book Award (category of Writing Based on Archival Material), Jewish Book Council, 2015
Honorable Mention, Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies (given every two years for the best book in French cultural or social studies by a North America-based scholar), New York University French Department, 2016 (for 2014-2015 competition)
Select Grants & Fellowships
Yad HaNadiv/Beracha Visiting Fellowship in Jewish Studies, 2016-2017
Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United Holocaust Memorial Museum, 8-month Visiting Fellowship, 2016-2017 (declined)
Lady Davis Visiting Professor Fellowship, Hebrew University, 2016-2017
Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (Hebrew University), Visiting Scholar for the academic year, 2016-2017
Taft Center faculty release fellowship, University of Cincinnati, 2016-2017 (deferred to 2017-2018)
Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research, Postdoctoral fellowship. 2016-2017 (declined)
Frankel Center for Advanced Judaic Studies year-long research and writing fellowship, University of Michigan, 2012-2013 (declined
Charles Phelps Taft Center year-long writing fellowship, University of Cincinnati, 2012-2013
Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies year-long research and writing fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2010
Hazel D. Cole Postdoctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies, University of Washington, 2009-2010 (declined)
Bourse Chateaubriand for dissertation research in France, French Foreign MInistry, 2005-2006
George L. Mosse Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002-2009
Books & Edited Collections
|The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015.|
|Co-editor (with Lisa Leff and Maud Mandel), Colonialism and the Jews. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.|
|Co-editor (with Ari Joskowicz), Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.|
Co-editor (with Jonathan Judaken), special issue on "Jews and Muslims in France Before and After Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher," Jewish History 32, 1, 2018, forthcoming.
Select Refereed Journal Articles & Book Chapters
"An Imperial Entanglement: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and Colonialism," part of proposed roundtable on "Rethinking Anti-Semitism," American Historical Review 123, 4 (2018), forthcoming.
"Where do the Hijab and the Kippah Belong? On Being Publicly Jewish or Muslim in Post-Hebdo France," special issue on "Before and After Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher: The Changing Landscape for Jews and Muslims in France, Jewish History 32, 1, 2018, forthcoming.
"Crémieux's Children: Joseph Reinach, Léon Blum, and René Cassin as Jews of French Empire," in Katz, Leff, and Mandel, eds., Colonialism and the Jews (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017).
Co-author (with Lisa Moses Leff and Maud Mandel), "Introduction: Engaging Jewish History and Colonial History," in Katz, Leff, and Mandel, eds., Colonialism and the Jews (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017).
Co-author (with Maud Mandel), "'The French Jewish Community Speaks to you with One Voice': Dissent and the Shaping of French Jewish Politics since World War II," in Zvi Kaplan and Nadia Malinovich, eds., Re-examining the Jews of Modern France: Images and Identities (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
"Shifting Hierarchies of Exclusion: Colonialism, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia in European History," CrossCurrents 65, 3 (September 2015): 356-69.
Co-author (with Ari Joskowicz), "Rethinking Jews and Secularism," in Ari Joskowicz and Ethan Katz, eds., Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
"Secular French Nationhood and Its Discontents: Jews as Muslims and Religion as Race in Occupied France (1940-1944)," in Joskowicz and Katz, eds., Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
"Between Emancipation and Persecution: Algerian Jewish Memory in the Longue Durée," Journal of North African Studies 17, 5 (November 2012): 793-820.
"Did the Paris Mosque Save Jews? A Mystery and Its Memory," Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 102, No. 2 (2012): 256-287.
"Tracing the Shadow of Palestine: The Zionist-Arab Conflict and Jewish-Muslim Relations in France, 1914-1945," in Nathalie Debrauwere-Miller, ed., The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in the Francophone World (New York: Routledge, 2010).
"Displaced Historians, Dialectical Histories: George L. Mosse, Peter Gay, and Germany's Multiple Paths in the Twentieth Century," Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2008), pp. 135-55.
"Memory at the Front: The Struggle Over Revolutionary Commemoration in Occupied France, 1940-1944," Journal of European Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2005), pp. 153-168.