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Nathaniel Deutsch, Co-director of Center for Jewish Studies, to Lecture at W&L

Nathaniel Deutsch, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is also co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. in Sydney Lewis Hall, classroom B.

The title of his lecture is ” ‘The New is Forbidden by the Torah’: Minhag and the Radical Roots of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.” The talk will be followed by a dialogue on “Jewish and Muslim Legal Fundamentalisms” with Deutsch and Joel A. Blecher, assistant professor of religion at W&L, followed by a Q&A period. The talk is free and open to the public.

Deutsch’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Religion Department’s Stanford L. Schewel Fund, the Institute of Transnational Law, the History Department, the Politics Department and Washington and Lee University School of Law, Office of the Dean.

Deutsch, also the director of the Institute for Humanities Research, is the author of six books, including “The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement” (2011), for which he received the 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies; “Inventing America’s ‘Worst’ Family; Eugenics, Islam and the Fall of the Rise of The Tribe of Ishmael” (2009); and “The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World” (2003).

A specialist in Judaism, Gnosticism and early Christianity, Deutsch received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist and received an honorable mention for the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians for Best Book in Social and/or Intellectual History.

Deutsch’s areas of expertise are Jewish history, Hasidism, African American Islam and the history of eugenics in the United States.

He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.