Steven Zipperstein

The Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Russian and Jewish History (1980)
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, History (1975)
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Sociology (1973)
Steven Zipperstein
Steven J. Zipperstein is Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History. For sixteen years, beginning in 1991, he was Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. In 2007-8, he was Weinstock Visiting Professor at Harvard University; he has held a research appointment for several years at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. Zipperstein taught at Oxford (for six years), and at universities in France, Russia, and Poland. His first book, The Jews of Odessa: A Cultural History, 1794-1881 (Stanford University Press, 1985) won the Smilen Prize and was named the outstanding book on Jewish history published that year. It has been translated into Russian. His second book, Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha’am and the Origins of Zionism (University of California Press, 1993) won the National Jewish Book Award. In 1998, it appeared in Israel in a Hebrew translation published by the Ofakim series of Am Oved. Imagining Russian Jewry: Memory, History, Identity -- based on the Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies – appeared with the University of Washington Press in 1999. He has co-edited three volumes, including (with Jonathan Frankel) Assimilation and Community: The Jews in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1992), and The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian Jewish intellectual at the Turn of the Century (with Gabriella Safran) which was the winner of the Leviant Prize of the Modern Language Association. Zipperstein's most recent book, Rosenfeld's Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing (Yale Univerisity Press, 2009), was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award in biography, autobiography, and memoir, and was reviewed widely in United States, the Uk, and elsewhere. He is currently completing a cultural history of Russian Jewry at the turn of the 20th century and senior editor of a series of three documentary volumes (the first of which is "Jews and the Russian Revolution") sponsored by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, in New York.

In spring 2014, Professor Zipperstein was named the first Jacob Kronhill Visiting Scholar at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He has also held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Institute for Advanced Studies Jerusalem, at Wolfson College, Oxford, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew Studies, the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, in Tel Aviv, and the Stanford Humanities Center. He is President on the Conference on Jewish Social Studies, he was Vice President of the Association for Jewish Studies, and served for seven years as Chair of the Koret Book Awards. He is the recipient of the Judah L. Magnes Gold Medal from the American Friends of the Hebrew University, and the Koret Prize for outstanding contributions to Jewish life. He has given the Weizmann Memorial Lecture in the Humanities at the Weizmann Institute, and endowed lectures at Wesleyan, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Indiana University at Bloomington, Brown, Tulane, Franklin and Marshall, Rutgers, UC Berkeley, University of Texas, Austin, University of Oregon, University of Florida, Northwestern, University of Illinois, Champaign, and elsewhere. He is the immediate past Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, in New York, a member of the academic advisory board of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, an editorial board member for the Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and he is on the international editorial board of the Posen Library of Jewish Civilization. He is on the board of several academic journals in Israel, Germany, and Russia. In 2002, he was J. B. Shapiro Senior Scholar in Residence at the United Memorial Holocaust Museum, in Washington D.C.

Featured News

August 25, 2020
The modern world’s most consequential conspiracy text was barely noticed when it first appeared in a little-read Russian newspaper in 1903. The message of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is straightforward, and terrifying: The rise of liberalism had provided Jews with the tools to destroy institutions—the nobility, the church, the sanctity of...
July 20, 2020
The Tel Aviv Review Podcast Interview with Steven Zipperstein The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903 was among the seminal events of modern Jewish history. The violence was memorialized in ways that shaped Jewish identity, from the early Zionist national narrative to Jewish American social activism. Prof. Steven Zipperstein examines the history, memory and...
May 6, 2019
Wittgenstein posed the question: Why did one crucifixion captivate the world for two thousand years, while tens of thousands of other people crucified by the Romans remain utterly forgotten? One obvious answer is that we react to stories, not statistics: a haunting story exists for one crucifixion; statistics barely account for the rest. Steven...

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Cultural History
Intellectual History
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Revolutions
Urban History