Derek Penslar

Derek Penslar PhotoDerek Penslar
Visiting Professor of History
Department of History
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Derek J. Penslar is a Visiting Professor in the Department of History and a resident fellow at the Centre for European Studies. In 2018 he will assume the William Lee Frost Chair in Modern Jewish History. A native of California, Penslar did his undergraduate work at Stanford and then went to the University of California at Berkeley for his doctorate. Between 1987 and 1998 he taught at Indiana University in Bloomington and then moved to the University of Toronto as the Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto. In 2012, he moved to Oxford as the Stanley Lewis Visiting Professor of Israel Studies. Penslar's research specialties include the history of modern European and North American Jewry, the Zionist movement, the state of Israel, and, more generally, the history of nationalist movements throughout the world. Penslar's books include Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine, 1870-1918 (1991, Hebrew version 2001); In Search of Jewish Community: Jewish Identities in Germany and Austria, 1918-1933 (1998, co-edited with Michael Brenner); Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (2001); Orientalism and the Jews (co-edited with Ivan Kalmar, 2004); Contemporary Antisemitism: Canada and the World (2005); Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (2006); The Origins of the State of Israel 1882-1948: A Documentary History (with Eran Kaplan, 2011); and Jews and the Military: A History (2013). Penslar is currently writing a biography of Theodor Herzl for Yale University Press’ Jewish Lives series and a book titled Zionism: An Emotional State, for Rutgers University Press’ series on Keywords in Jewish Studies. Penslar is co-editor of The Journal of Israeli History and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy for Jewish Research. 

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Twitter: @derekpenslar