Derek J. Penslar

Derek J. Penslar

William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History
Derek J. Penslar

On leave 2022-2023

Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History.  He takes a comparative and transnational approach to Jewish history, which he studies within the contexts of modern capitalism, nationalism, and colonialism.   Penslar’s books include Shylock’s Children: Economics and Modern Identity in Modern Europe (2001), Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (2006), The Origins of the State of Israel: A Documentary History (with Eran Kaplan, 2011), Jews and the Military: A History (2013), and Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader(2020). He is currently writing a book titled Zionism: An Emotional State and is beginning work on a global history of the 1948 Palestine War.  Penslar is President of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford.  At Harvard, Penslar is a resident faculty member at The Center for European Studies and the PhD track’s director of graduate studies in The Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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Center for European Studies (CES) 201
27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA
p: 617-998-5408

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