2019 Recipients

Genna Abele, Undergraduate Student, 2019

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016. The Brexit vote has brought a wave of xenophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, racism, and antisemitism to mainstream British society. Antisemitic incidents in the UK hit a record high in 2018, with more than 100 recorded every month, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that fights antisemitism. This rise in antisemitism is paired with uncertainty on the part of many British Jews about how they should respond to the UK’s impending departure from the EU. In this project, I first aim to analyze whether and how Brexit has caused or accelerated the rise of antisemitism in the UK. To answer these questions, I plan to analyze the press, including TV, radio, and news articles both immediately before and since the Brexit vote. I also plan to interview policymakers, MPs, and experts at the CST, as well as members of the British Jewish communities living in London and Manchester. Second, I will examine British memory of the Holocaust through an analysis of British Holocaust memorials and museums to determine whether and how the Brexit vote has impacted the discussion around, and memory of, the Holocaust in the UK.

Anna Duensing, Graduate Student in History

My dissertation, “Strange Victory: Cold War Civil Rights and the Long Shadow of Fascism, 1941-1971,” tells the overlapping, transnational stories of soldiers, artists, journalists, activists, and intellectuals who continued to find in “fascism” a powerful framework for critiquing white supremacy, state violence, racialized social death, and the limits of liberalism in the postwar United States. Recognizing the relational nature of the struggle between antifascist and fascist movements, my project also examines the influence of the interwar global Right on the rise of modern American conservatism and massive resistance to the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Student Research Grant will allow me to carry out two major research trips crucial to this latter endeavor, visiting collections that will help me to tease out the entanglements of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and anticommunist Americanism that motivated some of the most virulent opponents of the black freedom struggle around midcentury. While these archives will inform my dissertation as a whole, I will be focusing on materials concerning the former U.S. army officer and far-right leader Edwin A. Walker, who plays a central role in two chapters of the project.  

William Kwok, Graduate Student in Political Science

My dissertation “The Banality of Organization: Mass killings as a coordination problem in the shadow of war” addresses the following puzzles: “Why do local subordinates obey leaders’ orders for mass killings, and when and where do they do so?” and “what accounts for the onset of and participation in mass killings?” My project addresses these puzzles through a comparative study of the political organization of mass killings. With Baron support, I will collect documents from the Khmer Rouge state located in archives across Cambodia. My project addresses important scholarly deficits in our understanding of antisemitism (and other forms of enmity) and its impact on mass killings, and has substantial policy implications for mitigating or preventing genocides.

Alicen Roberts, Mdiv. Candidate

I am very grateful to receive the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Student Research grant. This grant will support a twofold project: (1) I plan to research aspects of religious tolerance and Christian production of anti-Semitism in Jerusalem and Bethlehem through direct interviews and field-based observations while studying abroad at Hebrew University this spring and summer. I am particularly interested in how local Christians, working within certain organizations, understand and participate in (even unintentionally) what is often called “the new” anti-Semitism, or rather, anti-Israel/anti-Zionist remarks and actions. Through historical and field research, I seek to better understand and write about the complexities and often conflicting narratives of Christian Palestinianism and Christian Zionism. (2) Part one will tie into research on broader regional concerns, such as Israeli security, in light of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and disparate views of Zionism among Middle Eastern countries.

Lucy Sternbach, Undergraduate Student in American Studies

Spending three months between Granada, Spain and Rabat, Morocco, I will be living with Jewish women who are rebuilding memories of their heritage and the historical memory of Judaism in the Western Mediterranean. This summer, I hope to will be studying Spanish conceptions of “feminism” and gender relations, this research will seek to understand the subtle and active roles that Jewish women have in Andalusian history — what does it mean to be an Andalusian Jewish woman, and how has that changed over time? I will conduct this as a photojournalism project. Through environmental portraitures (photos of individuals I speak with and landscapes they interact with daily) and a long-form article for both a Yale and local Spanish newspaper, I will depict the oral histories of the women and Jewish peoples I speak to in Andalucía. The generosity of the Baron Fellowship, which would help me explore the intersectionality of race and gender in global contexts, will also help me expand my scholarly and creative work highlighting antisemitism, and the modes of resistance that Jewish populations are crafting in response.

Charlotte Van Voorhis, Undergraduate Student in American Studies

My great grandfather kept journals all through the 1930s and 40s, detailing his time as a German army doctor in World War II, the conditions of camp, operations he performed and his contact with his family. I am fascinated by these journals, housed in Frankfurt, Germany, and would like to read them in order to learn more about anti-Semitic practices and philosophy in the Nazi army during World War II and how the city of Frankfurt remembers its Holocaust victims. As an American Studies major, I have taken numerous classes on the transatlantic slave trade, the civil rights movement and their legacies in America today. While studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, I also studied how Apartheid has shaped social inequalities and how institutions like University of Cape Town can help build a more inclusive community. I hope to interview my relatives and take advantage of Frankfurt’s city archives and historical resources to get a better understanding of this project.