Maud Mandel Dean of the College, Professor of History and Judaic Studies

(Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1998; A.M., University of Michigan, 1993; B.A. Oberlin College, 1989) is Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies. Her monograph, In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth Century France, was published by Duke University Press in 2003. Her book, Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict, appeared with Princeton University Press in January 2014 and has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Society. Her most recent article, "Simone Weil and Thinking Jewish Modernity after the Holocaust” appeared in the volume  Thinking Jewish Modernity in 2016. She teaches courses on many aspects of modern Jewish history, including history of the Holocaust, Zionism and the birth of the state of Israel, and antisemitism.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

Colonialism and the Jews, eds. Ethan Katz, Lisa Moses Leff, and Maud S. Mandel, Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2017.

“Street Riots and Jewish Politics:  Anti-Jewish violence in Tunisia before Decolonization,” in Colonialism and the Jews, eds., Ethan Katz, Lisa Moses Leff, and Maud S. Mandel, Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2017.

“’The French Jewish Community Speaks to you with One Voice’:  Dissent and the Shaping of French Jewish Politics since World War II,” (co-written with Ethan Katz), The Jews of Modern France, ed. Zvi Jonathan Kaplan and Nadia Malinovich.  Litmann Press, 2016.

“Simone Weil and Thinking Jewish Modernity after the Holocaust” in eds. Jacques Picard, Jacques Revel, Michael P. Steinberg, and Idith Zertal, Thinking Jewish Modernity,  (Princeton University Press, 2016).  

“The Encounter between ‘Native’ and ‘Immigrant’ Jews in post-Holocaust France: Negotiating Difference,” in Stephen Katz, ed., Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-55.  New York:  New York University Press, 2015. 

Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2014.

“The War Comes Home:  Muslim/Jewish Relations in Marseille during the 1991 Gulf War,” Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in the Francophone World.  New York:  Routledge, 2010.

 “Assimilation and Cultural Exchange in Modern Jewish History,” in Jeremy Cohen and Mose Rosman, eds., Rethinking European Jewish History.  Oxford:  Littman Library, 2008.

"Transnationalism and its Discontents during the 1948 Arab/Israeli War," Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 12, 3 (Winter 2003): 329-360.

In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth Century France. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2003.

"Genocide and Nationalism: The Changing Nature of Jewish Politics in post-World War II France," in Zvi Gitelman, ed., The Emergence of Modern Jewish Politics: Bundismand Zionism in Eastern Europe. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003.

"Philanthropy or Cultural Imperialism? The Impact of American Jewish Aid in post-Holocaust France," Jewish Social Studies, 9, 1 (Fall 2002): 53-94.

"Faith, Religious Practice, and Genocide: Armenians and Jews in France following World War I and II," in Omer Bartov and Phyllis Mack, eds., In God We Trust: Genocide, Religion, and Modernity. Berghahn Press, 2001.



research overview

Maud Mandel is Dean of the College and professor of history and Judaic Studies. Her research focuses primarily on the impact of policies and practices of inclusion and exclusion on ethnic and religious minorities in twentieth-century France, most notably Jews, Armenians, and Muslim North Africans.

research statement

My most recent book, Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict, takes as its subject the conflict that has long shadowed Muslim-Jewish relations in France. Although antisemitic violence began capturing international attention in 2000, Muslim-Jewish tensions were, in fact, the subject of commentary much earlier in the century, as a diverse range of social actors, including international Jewish representatives, anti-Zionist Algerian nationalists, French police, and Jewish and Muslim student activists began to fear that Middle Eastern conflict was coming to France. My book makes two central claims regarding this emerging landscape of conflict. First, I argue that as a reductionist charged narrative of polarization took hold, it often obscured a more complex inter-ethnic reality. Indeed, France houses the largest Jewish and Muslim populations living side-by side outside of Israel as a result of migrations from North Africa following decolonization. Sharing certain linguistic and cultural traditions and a common experience of displacement, these newcomers also experienced similar pressures to assimilate while also often feeling rejected by the nation seeking to integrate them. These multifaceted cultural, linguistic, residential and historical connections meant that Muslim-Jewish relations in France were never defined solely as a bitter war over Palestine and Israel, Islam and Judaism, or any other set of binary divisions.
Secondly, I argue that focusing solely on the Middle East in an effort to understand Muslim-Jewish politics in France misses key aspects of the story. While global developments created fault lines around which activists began to mobilize, the nature of that mobilization, the political rhetoric employed, and the success or lack thereof of their appeal emerged from French political transformations. In particular, I focus on three key turning points in French life that shaped the course of Muslim-Jewish relations: the decolonization of North Africa, the student uprisings in 1968, and the 1980s experiments in multiculturalism. In doing so, I trace the processes through which inter-ethnic political boundaries hardened over time, erasing evidence of the more variegated landscape of Muslim-Jewish interaction. The result is a book that challenges monocausal explanations of Muslim-Jewish conflict that understand contemporary developments as an inevitable outgrowth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, my relational approach makes clear that interactions between ethno-religious communities profoundly influenced their integration into French state and society. A relational approach thus goes beyond a focus on the individual minority group's relationship with the surrounding context to consider how different groups helped to co-constitute each other.

funded research

American Philosophical Society, $40,000, Winter 2009
American Council of Learned Societies, $18,500, Fall 2008
Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, $5000, Fall 2008
American Historical Association, Schmitt Grant, $500, Summer 2005
National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, $5,000, Summer 2004
Watson Institute Middle East Research Initiative Grant, Brown University, $5,125, 2002-3
Solomon Research Grant, Brown University, $5,000, Fall 2002

geographic research area