Jonathan Judaken, PhD


Dr. Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rhodes College. His research focuses on representations of Jews and Judaism, race and racism, existentialism, and post-Holocaust French Jewish thought. Dr. Judaken published extensively on these topics, including most recently an article on "The Politics of the Gesture: The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, Antiracism, and Itersectionality" in American Jewish History (2021). He is currently working on a monograph entitled Judeophobia and Anti-Semitism: A Primary Source Reader from its Origins to the Present (Palgrave, forthcoming), and his book Jean-Paul Sartre and the Jewish Question: Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual has been published by University of Nebraska Press in 2006. Dr. Judaken is the recipient of many prestigious grants, fellowships and honors, including the 2019 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship. He is a founding member of the International Consortium for Research on Racism and Antisemitism, and serves as the U.S. Consulting Editor for Patterns of Prejudice, on the Associate Editorial Board for Critical Philosophy of Race, and on the Advisory Board for H-Antisemitism. 

Dr. Judaken received his MA and PhD in History from the University of California, Irvine. 

Critical Theories of Anti-Semitism: Confronting Modernity and Modern Judeophobia—Concluding Chapter

Dr. Judaken’s project focuses on the completion of the concluding chapter of his upcoming monograph entitled Critical Theories of Anti-Semitism: Confronting Modernity and Modern Judeophobia. After wrestling with the conceptual and methodological problems in the study of anti-Semitism in its Introduction, Dr. Judaken’s monograph examines seven major theories and theorists that exemplify some of the major paradigms for understanding the underlying causes of anti-Semitism. In the final chapter of the monograph, rather than distilling the insights from each of those paradigms, Dr. Judaken will instead assess some of the meta-issues raised by the philosophical and intellectual debates about the post-Holocaust and post-colonial Judeophobia of our present. In his project, Dr. Judaken contends that there is not a single, simple answer to the question about why people hate the Jews, or why they have ambivalent feelings about Jews, expressed as both fear and fascination. Rather, each of the seven paradigms that he explores contains the most significant answers to this question. In addition, Dr. Judaken considers not only how those major theorists understand anti-Semitism, but how other racisms are entangled in the history of Judeophobia, thus hoping to link critical race theory and theoretical approaches to anti-Semitism.

Back to the Scholar Lab