jewish1Not limited by geographic boundaries, the field of Jewish history offers exciting possibilities for graduate education. Emphasizing transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives, Jewish history draws on methodologies and approaches from cultural, legal, and gender studies. Our courses place the Jewish experience in its national and global contexts, never without a comparative lens. Graduate students benefit from the enormous expertise of the University of Illinois faculty, including specialists in Russia and Eastern Europe, Germany, the Middle East, as well as medieval and early modern worlds.

The interdisciplinary Program in Jewish Culture and Society and Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies offer students additional funding resources. Other important resources include the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. Over the years, students have benefited from involvement in workshops, lectures, and conferences sponsored by the Program in Jewish Culture and Society.

Core History Faculty with Expertise in Jewish History

  • Eugene M. Avrutin - (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2004) Department of History: modern Jewish History, east European Jewish history and culture, Russian empire, legal culture, and statecraft
  • Ken Cuno - (Emeritus:  Ph.D. UCLA, 1985) Social, economic and legal history of the early modern and modern Middle East
  • Peter Fritzsche - (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1986) Department of History: Germany, Europe, Nazism cultural history
  • Dana Rabin- (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1996) Department of History: early modern Britain; the Jewish Atlantic, legal, cultural, and gender history
  • Mark Steinberg - (Emeritus:  Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1987) Department of History: late imperial and early Soviet Russia and Ukraine (Odessa), comparative urban history, revolution, emotions
  • Carol Symes - (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1999) Department of History: medieval Europe in its global context, ancient and medieval Jewish diasporas

Other Faculty with Expertise in Jewish History

  • Sara Feldman – (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2014) Program in Jewish Culture and Society: Yiddish and Hebrew language and culture; translation studies; east European Jewish culture
  • Rachel Harris - (Ph.D. Oxford University, 2008) Comparative & World Literatures: Israeli literature and culture
  • Brett Kaplan – (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2002) Comparative & World Literatures: Holocaust representation in literature and contemporary art, memory studies, modern Jewish literature 
  • Harriet Murav - (Ph.D. Stanford University, 1985) Departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative & World Literatures: Russian and Soviet literature, cultural history, Jewish intellectual history, Yiddish literature and culture; editor of Slavic Review
  • Bruce Rosenstock – (Ph.D. Princeton University, 1979) Department of Religion: Biblical theology, political theology, and modern Jewish philosophy
  • Emanuel Rota - (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2005). Department of French and Italian: 19th and 20th century intellectual history, Fascism, critical theory
  • Mahir Saul – (Ph.D. Indiana University, 1982) Department of Anthropology: Judeo-Spanish language and culture
  • Dov Weiss – (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2011) Department of Religion: Ancient Judaism, Rabbinic thought and literature, medieval Judaism, history of Jewish theology, Jewish Biblical interpretation, modern Jewish thought