New Faculty: Avinoam Patt

Avinoam Patt head shot

Photo courtesy of Avinoam Patt.

Avinoam Patt

Doris and Simon Konover Family Foundation Chair of Judaic Studies

Avinoam J. Patt joins UConn as the Doris and Simon Konover Family Foundation Chair of Judaic Studies and director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. He previously served as the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he was also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization, and he worked as the Miles Lerman Applied Research Scholar for Jewish Life and Culture at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).

He is the author of Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (Wayne State University Press, May 2009); co-editor of a collected volume on Jewish Displaced Persons, titled We are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (Wayne State University Press, 2010); and is a contributor to several projects at the USHMM, including Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1938-1940 (USHMM/Alta Mira Press, September 2011).

He is also director of the In Our Own Words Interview Project with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and is co-editor of an anthology of contemporary American Jewish fiction, titled The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction (Wayne State University Press, 2015). He is co-editor of a new volume on The Joint Distribution Committee at 100: A Century of Humanitarianism (Wayne State, 2019) and is currently writing a new book on the early postwar memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He is also the co-editor of an upcoming volume, Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust and is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust (University of Wisconsin Press, in progress).

Q&A with Avinoam Patt

What are your research interests?

My scholarship adds broadly to the field of Jewish Studies, with contributions in Holocaust studies, Modern European and American Jewish history, Israel studies, Jewish literature, and Jewish humor.

How did you become interested in this type of work?

I have always loved history. As an undergrad at Emory University, I had the privilege of working with amazing professors in Jewish studies, who showed me it was possible to turn my passion into a career.

What courses will you be teaching this year?

I will be teaching Modern Jewish Thought in the fall of 2019 and Jewish Humor and American Jewish Literature and Culture in the spring of 2020.

What drew you to UConn?

I was drawn by the potential to work at a top tier research university, with wonderful students and amazing colleagues.

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