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Prof Michael Berkowitz
Foster Court
Malet Place
  • Professor of Modern Jewish History
  • Dept of Hebrew & Jewish Studies
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Professor Michael Berkowitz  - Professor of Modern Jewish History

Professor Berkowitz, a native of Rochester, New York, received his BA from Hobart College (Geneva, New York) and his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). At Wisconsin he studied under the late George L. Mosse.

Most recently he was awarded a Josef Breitenbach Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona (Tuscon).  Previously he has received research support from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas (Austin), the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), the British Society for the History of Science, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC), the British Academy, the Convocation Research Fund of the University of London, the Leo Baeck Institute (New York)/DAAD, the American Jewish Archives (Cincinnati), the Wiener Library of Tel Aviv University, the University of Judaism (Los Angeles; formerly west coast affiliate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before coming to UCL he taught at the University of Chicago, Ohio State University, and the University of Judaism.

Professor Berkowitz's current work is on the engagement of Jews and photography. He is completing a book entitled Jews and Photography in Britain:  Connections and Developments, 1850-2007 (in preparation and under contract with the University of Texas Press).  Presentations based on ongoing research focus on Jewish networks in the field of radiography, the invention of Kodachrome, the history of photojournalism, and a reconsideration of the career of Helmut Gernsheim.  Work in the pipeline include an essay, "Lost in the transnational:  Photographic initiatives of Walter and Helmut Gernsheim in Britain" and an article on Jewish humour in Britain for Studies in Contemporary Jewry.

His scholarship has dealt broadly with modern Jewish identity formation and political self-representations, 1881-1948; relationships between art, politics, and culture; sport (especially boxing) and spectacle; the politics of religion in Mandate Palestine; perceptions of criminality and social deviance from early modern times to the present; Jews and German culture; ties between charity and nationalism; and modes of understanding and mis-understanding the Holocaust.

Research Summary

Academic Background
1989 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – History University of Wisconsin - Madison
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