Derek Penslar

Derek Penslar
William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History
Harvard University

Derek Penslar was raised in Los Angeles, did my BA at Stanford, and in 1987 completed a PhD in European history at Berkeley. Throughout my career I have approached modern Jewish history from a transnational and global perspective. My work encompasses the history of the Jews in modern West and Central Europe, North America, and Palestine/Israel. I am particularly interested in the relationship between modern Israel and diaspora Jewish societies, global nationalist movements, European colonialism, and post-colonial states. I co-edit (with Anita Shapira) The Journal of Israeli History and serve on the editorial boards of The Journal of Jewish Studies, Jewish Social Studies, and Israel Studies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Selected Publications

Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine, 1870-1918 (Indiana University Press, 1991)

Shylock’s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe (University of California Press, 2001)

Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (Rutledge, 2006)

The Origins of the State of Israel: A Documentary History, 1882-1948 (with Eran Kaplan; University of Wisconsin Press, 2011)

Jews and the Military: A History (Princeton University Press, 2013)