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UM Frankel Center Event – Todd Endelman
September 22 @ 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
A Jewish Race Scientist in Twentieth-Century Britain
Todd M. Endelman, Professor Emeritus of History and Judaic Studies, University of Michigan
This lecture will explore how Redcliffe Salaman, an eminent Jewish scientist in early twentieth-century Britain, embraced a racial understanding of Jewish peoplehood and how he developed a biological history of the Jews. It will emphasize the ubiquity of racial notions of physical and intellectual inheritance in scientific circles in Britain before World War II. Above all, it will stress how racial categories allowed secular Jewish intellectuals in Britain (and elsewhere) to develop ways of thinking about the bonds of Jewishness that transcended older notions that saw Jewish difference solely in religious terms. It will also tease out the connections between Salaman’s views of Jewishness and his pathbreaking work breeding blight-free potatoes.
This is a hybrid lecture in Room 2022 South Thayer Building. Zoom registration: https://myumi.ch/RWNV4
Todd M. Endelman is Professor Emeritus of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. A native of California, he was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1976. He is a specialist in the history of the Jews in Britain and in the social history of modern European Jewry. He taught at Yeshiva University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, he was director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies for eleven years. He retired from teaching in 2012 and now divides his time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Brooklyn, New York. His books include The Jews of Georgian England, 1714-1830 (1979); Radical Assimilation in Anglo-Jewish History, 1656-1945 (1990); The Jews of Britain, 1656-2000 (2002); Broadening Jewish History (2014); and Leaving the Jewish Fold: Conversion and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History (2015). He recently completed a biography of the Anglo-Jewish race scientist, country gentleman, and historian of the potato Redcliffe Salaman.