Jeffrey Veidlinger, PhD


Dr. Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a former Vice-President of the Association for Jewish Studies, and a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies from 2015-2021. Dr. Veidlinger's fields of study include modern Jewish history, modern Russia and Eastern Europe, oral history, culture and ethnicity, and the Holocaust. Dr. Veidlinger published extensively on these topics, including more recently his monographs In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust (Metroopolitan Books, 2021), Going to the People: Jews and the Ethnographic Impulse (Indiana University Press, 2016), and In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine, 1919-1953 ( Indiana University Press, 2013). He is the recepient of many awards, grants and fellowships, including the fellowship of the American Academy of Jewish Research and several National Endowment for the Humanities grants.
Dr. Veidlinger received his PhD in History from Georgetown University.

The Image of the Jew in Western Culture

Dr. Veidlinger’s project entitled “The Image of the Jew in Western Culture” seeks to find answers to the question of why people hate Jews by examining what some of the most prominent and influential writers and thinkers in the historical western tradition have actually written about Jews. The goal of the project is to take ideas, even antisemitic ideas, about Jews seriously in an effort to understand how historical “influencers” have propagated and reflected broader public understandings of the notion of “the Jew.” By presenting the image of the Jew through history, Dr. Veidlinger claims that we can ascertain continuities, isolating the myths and tropes that have remained consistent, as well as notice novelties in the ways that Jews are imagined. Dr. Veidlinger plans to build a website that presents heavily annotated excerpts from influential writings about Jews. These include portrayals of Jews in the Gospels, the writings of the Church Fathers, medieval woodcuts, the writings of Martin Luther, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Menasseh ben Israel, John Toland, Gotthold Efrain Lessing, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Karl Marx, Leo Pinsker, Sigmund Freud, Bruno Bauer, Houston Steward Chamberlain, Wilhelm Marr, Richard Wagner, Fedor Dostoevsky, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, George Simmel, Werner Sombart, and others. The annotations will be scholarly and explanatory, geared toward an undergraduate student audience.

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