I study modern Jewish history from the mid-18th century to the present, with a particular interest in Jewish political, intellectual, and cultural histories in 19th and 20th-century Russia and Poland/Eastern Europe, Palestine, and Israel to the present day.
My research to date has focused (in reverse chronological order) on East European Jewish political culture, thought, and choice in the interwar period; interwar Jewish social and moral thought, particularly evolving Jewish conceptions of the relationship between economic and political upheaval, majority-minority relations and identities, political rationality and irrationality, explanation and extrapolation, power and powerlessness, and futurity and risk; the history and sociology of Jewish nationalism from the 1880s to the 1930s; the intertwined histories of Zionism and Jewish Diasporism; the history and interpretation of Yiddish and Hebrew literary culture; and the Jewish negotiation of modern concepts of culture, the aesthetic, and the secular.
Currently, as I complete a book on interwar Polish Jewish political culture, my research interests are turning toward the post-war world, with particular interests in the history of Israeli thought, culture, planning, and extrapolation regarding the future; the persistence/resurgence of Jewish religiosity especially in non-liberal forms; the history of American Yiddish literary culture as a site of social thought and historical reflection on the American century. My teaching interests extend across a wide array of topics in modern Jewish history as well as 20th century and contemporary social theory; the history and sociology of nationalism; the institution of culture; the history of religion in modernity.
My current book project, provisionally entitled The Unchosen People: Danger, Powerlessness and the Recasting of Polish Jewish Culture, Thought, and Politics in the Age of Fascism, is under advanced contract from Harvard University Press.
With Tony Michels (UW-Madison) and Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA), I am co-editor of the journal Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society (The New Series).
My 2009 book Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution has been accepted for publication in expanded and revised form in Hebrew translation by the Zalman Shazar Center; the translation, which I am editing, is nearing completion.
I am co-editing, with Professor Yisrael Bartal, volume 7 of the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization: Anthology of Primary Sources, Documents, Texts, and Artifacts in 10 Volumes, v. VII: 1880 C.E. - 1918 C.E: Mass Migrations of Jews and Jewish Culture to North America and Palestine, Jewish Nationalism, Flowering of Yiddish and Hebrew Literatures, editor in chief Deborah Dash Moore (Yale University Press, 2012-).
I recently completed the editing of the volume From Europe’s East to the Middle East: Israel’s Russian and Polish Lineages, co-edited with Benjamin Nathans and Taro Tsurumi; it is under consideration.
“From Zionism as Ideology to the Yishuv as Fact: Polish Jewish Relations to the Yishuv on the Cusp of the 1930s,” under consideration.
[With Tony Michels and Sarah Stein] “Introduction: Jewish Studies Confronts the Trump Era” Jewish Social Studies 22:3 (Spring/Summer 2017): 139-140.
Review, Naomi Brenner, Lingering Bilingualism: Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literatures in Contact in Slavic Review, 76(3) (2017), 839-40.
Review, Simon Rabinovitch, Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia in American Historical Review 122:3 (2017), 953-954.
«Революция в еврейской культуре» in Istoria evreiskogo naroda, ed. Michael Beizer (Jerusalem: Gesharim/Shazar, 2016).
[Co-authored with Roger Friedland], “Thinking through Religious Nationalism,” in Words: Religious Language Matters, eds. Asja Szafraniec and Ernst van den Hemel (Fordham University Press, 2016), 419-462.
“Natsyonalizm, di melukhe, un der nayer antisemitizm in dem tsienistishn un goles-natsyonalistishn gedank,” in Afn shvel: gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zhurnal, n. 370-371 (Vinter-friling 2016): 41-48.
“Negotiating Jewish Nationalism in Interwar Warsaw,” in Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis, ed. Glenn Dynner and Francois Guesnet (Brill 2015), 390-434.
“Mahpekhah ba-tarbut ha-yehudit” in Toldot yehudei rusiah, v. 3, ed. Michael Beizer (Jerusalem: The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2015), 73-84.
“Yiddishist Myths, and the Myth Yiddish Studies Can’t Live Without.” In geveb: a Journal of Yiddish Studies (December 2015), blogpost.
Review, Joshua Shanes, Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish Identity in Habsburg Galicia, “Featured Review” in Association of Jewish Studies Review, 39:2 (Nov. 2015), 433-37.
“Thinking with Restriction: Immigration Restriction and Polish Jewish Accounts of the Post-Liberal State, Empire, Race, and Political Reason 1926-1939,” East European Jewish Affairs 44:2-3 (December 2014): 205-224.
“‘W imię naglących potrzeb literatury narodowej.’ Tłumaczenie i żydowski nacjonalizm kulturowy w Europie Wschodniej,” Przekladaniec 29 (2014): 67-91.
[With Tony Michels and Sarah Stein] “Introduction,” Jewish Social Studies, 20:2 (Winter 2014): 1-3.
Review, Scott Ury, Barricades and Banners: The Revolution of 1905 and the Transformation of Warsaw Jewry in Tsion: riv’on le-kheker toldot yisrael / Zion: Quarterly for Research in Jewish History, 79:1 (2014): 117-124.
Review, Shachar M. Pinsker, Literary Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe, in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 31:4 (2013): 137-140.
"Tsienizm in dem goles-natsyonalistishn gedank: Maks Vaynraykh in Palestine," in Afn shvel: gezelshaftlekh-literarisher zhurnal, n. 356-357 (Zumer-harbst 2012): 21-27.
“At Home in Late Imperial Russian Modernity – Except When They Weren’t: New Histories of Russian and East European Jews, 1881-1914,” in Journal of Modern History, v. 84, 2 (June 2012): 401-452.
Review, Jonathan Frankel, Crisis, Revolution, and Russian Jews, in AJS Review 35 (2011): 181-187.
Review, Barry Trachtenberg, Revolutionary Roots of Modern Yiddish, in East European Jewish Affairs, 40:2 (August 2010): 195-198.
Review, Anita Norich, Discovering Exile: Yiddish and American Jewish Culture during the Holocaust in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, XXIV (2010): 242-245.
Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). [Winner, 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Best Work of Jewish Non-Fiction, National Jewish Book Council]
“Arnold in Eishyshok, Schiller in Shnipishok: Imperatives of ‘Culture’ in East European Jewish Nationalism and Socialism” in Journal of Modern History, v. 81, 3 (September 2009): 537-578.
*Portuguese translation: “Arnold em Aysheshok, Schiller em Shnipishok: imperativos da ‘cultura’ no nacionalismo e socialism judaicos da Europa Oriental,” WebMosaica: Revista semestral de estudos judaicos 2:2 (2010).
“Bringing Culture to the Nation: Hebraism, Yiddishism, and the Dilemmas of Jewish Cultural Formation in Russia and Ukraine, 1917-1919” in Jewish History 22 (2008): 263-294.
“1905 as a Jewish cultural revolution? Revolutionary and evolutionary dynamics in the East European Jewish cultural sphere, 1900-1914” in The Revolution of 1905 and Russia’s Jews: a Turning Point?, eds. Stefani Hoffman and Ezra Mendelsohn (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 186-198.
"Not The Dybbuk but Don Quixote: Translation, Deparochialization, and Nationalism in Jewish Culture” in Culture Front: Representing Jews in Eastern Europe, ed. Benjamin Nathans and Gabriella Safran (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 196-240.
*Edited Polish version: “‘W imię naglących potrzeb literatury narodowej.’ Tłumaczenie i żydowski nacjonalizm kulturowy w Europie Wschodniej,” Przekladaniec 29 (2014): 67-91.
*Republished in Magdalena Waligorska and Tara Kohn, Jewish Translation/Translating Jewishness (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018), 67-112.
“Introduction” in The Journal of Israeli History, special section on “East European Jewry, Nationalism and the Zionist project,” v. 27, 2 (September 2008): 113-118.
“Printing and Publishing: Printing and Publishing after 1800” [major article]; “Ahiasaf”; “Moriah”; “Stybel” [Hebrew publishing houses],” in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, ed. Gershon Hundert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). “Saul Ginzburg,” “Elye Tsherikover,” in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, electronic supplement.
Review, Benjamin Harshav, The Moscow Yiddish Theater in The Russian Review 67:4 (October 2008), 690-691.
Review, Nicolas Iljine, ed. Odessa Memories in Jewish Quarterly Review, 97:3 (Summer 2007): e94-e99.
“Yitshok Leybush Peretz,” in Dictionary of Yiddish Writers, ed. Joseph Sherman (Columbia, SC: Bruccoli, Clark, Layman, 2007) [one of three main entries].
Review, Natan Cohen, Sefer, sofer, ve-iton in Gal-ed: Measef le-toldot yahadut Polin/On the History of the Jews of Poland v. 19 (2004): 92-98.
“Between Renaissance and Decadence: Literarishe Monatsshriften and its Critical Reception” in Jewish Social Studies, v. 8, 1 (Fall 2001): 153-198.
“St. Patrick's Day Celebrations and the Formation of Irish-American Identity, 1845-1875” in Journal of Social History, v. 29, 1 (Fall 1995): 125-148.