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David Sorkin
Position: Distinguished Professor; Jack H. Skirball Director of the Center for Jewish Studies
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Phone: (212)817 7235
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. University of California–Berkeley
Research Interests: Jewish History, European Intellectual History

He is the author of The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840(1987), which won the Present Tense/Joel H. Cavior Literary Award for History; Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment (1996), which was translated into French, German and Italian; The Berlin Haskalah and German Religious Thought (2000), which was first delivered as the Sherman Lectures at Manchester University (UK); and The Religious Enlightenment:  Protestants, Jews and Catholics from London to Vienna (2008), to which the New York Times devoted an article (October 11, 2008).  He is co-editor of Profiles in Diversity:  Jews in a Changing Europe, 1750-1870(1998); New Perspectives on the Haskalah (2001); and What History Tells: George L. Mosse and the Culture of Modern Europe (2004), and Associate Editor of The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (2002), which won the National Jewish Book Award. He was General Editor of the series “Jewish Society and Culture” (Basil Blackwell; 1990-96) and currently edits ”Jewish Communities of the Modern World” (U. of California Press) and “Sources in Modern Jewish History” (U. of Wisconsin Press).  He has received grants from the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  He has twice been a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) and recently taught at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa).  He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institut für Geschichte (Göttingen); All Souls College, Oxford; the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala.  He is currently writing a history of Jewish emancipation in Europe (1550-1950).  Some preliminary studies are:  “Beyond the East-West Divide:  Rethinking the Narrative of the Jews’ Political Status in Europe, 1600-1750,” Jewish History 24 (2010) 247-56; “Is American Jewry Exceptional:  Comparing Jewish Emancipation in Europe and America,” American Jewish History 96 (September, 2010) 175-200; and “The Count Stanislas de Clermont Tonnerre’s ‘To the Jews as a Nation ….’; The Career of a Quotation,” Jacob Katz Memorial LectureLeo Baeck Institute Jerusalem (2012).    

 

 

Selected Publications
 

The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840 (Oxford University Press, 1987)
Present Tense/Joel H. Cavior 1987 Literary Award for History
 








 

Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment (University of California Press, 1996)
translated into French, German, and Italian










The Berlin Haskalah and German Religious Thought (2000)
originally delivered as the Sherman Lectures at Manchester University (UK)








 

The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton University Press, 2008)











Associate editor of the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (2002)
National Jewish Book Award








 

Selected Awards

John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

National Endowment for the Humanities

British Academy Travel Grant
 

Visiting Appointments

Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa

École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris
 

Current Projects:

Comparative history of Jewish emancipation in Europe from 1550-1950