20112020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Biography

Throughout my academic career I have been invested in the history of childhood, the history of the family, and the question of national belonging.  It is that methodological perspective that drove my first book, Jewish Youth and Identity in Postwar France: Rebuilding Family and Nation (Indiana University Press, 2015). In that work, I traced struggles between French Jewish and non-Jewish families, the French state, and Jewish agencies to rehabilitate Jewish youth in the aftermath of World War II. I considered how children were transformed into objects of struggle as French Jews and non-Jews reassessed their vision of France in the wake of Vichy.

While my early work drew upon ideas about childhood and family to write a political and cultural history, my current book project moves away from the French national context and the postwar period. My most recent work examines the history of emotions and the experience of familial separation by tracking the migration of unaccompanied refugee youth from Nazi Europe to the United States. Postwar testimonies and current historiography have typically presented the story of Nazi refugee youth as one of victimhood and loss. While that is the case, it nonetheless lays in stark contrast to how refugee youth presented themselves at the time. This book demonstrates how the history of emotions explains coping strategies of Nazi era Jews, decisions regarding mobility or immobility, and the agency of youth during the twin experience of child migration and the Holocaust. 

In addition to my book projects, I have endeavoured to reflect broadly about the fields of European Jewish history. I have written an article on modern French Jewish historiography for an edited collection (Brill, 2016), and co-edited a volume entitled “Absence in the Aftermath” for Journal of Contemporary History (2017). I have also co-edited a forthcoming (2019) volume in French Historical Studies on historiographical trends in French Jewish history.

Supervision interests

My post-graduate supervision experience has spanned the fields of European history, Jewish history, and the aftermath of conflict ridden societies. 

Monash teaching commitment

At Monash University I offer courses on the Holocaust, modern Jewish history, and an interdisciplinary course entitled Post-Conflict: Memory, Justice and Reconciliation.  At Colgate University and the University of Toronto, where I held post-doctoral fellowships before starting at Monash University, I also offered courses on the history of children during the Second World War, Jewish history and memoir writing, postwar European Jewish history, and notions of Jewish diaspora and urban settings. 

Network

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