PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University Dean of the College Maud Mandel has been elected as a fellow to the American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), which works to enhance Judaic studies throughout North America through the fellowship and by providing programs and opportunities for junior scholars and students entering the field.
Fellows of AAJR — the oldest organization of Judaic scholars in North America, founded in 1920 — are nominated and elected by their peers and comprise nearly 100 of the most distinguished and senior scholars teaching Judaic studies at American universities.
“The American Academy of Jewish Research represents some of the most respected scholars in the field of Jewish studies,” Mandel said. “It’s an inspiring group, and it’s a tremendous honor to be selected to become one of them. I didn’t even know I had been in the running, so I was taken by surprise — in a very good way.”
In addition to serving as dean of the College, Mandel is a professor of history and Judaic studies. After coming to Brown as a visiting assistant professor in 1997, she joined the faculty permanently in 2001 and became a full professor in 2014. She began her academic career as a graduate of Oberlin College (1989), after which she earned graduate degrees at the University of Michigan (M.A., 1993; Ph.D. 1998).
Author of “In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth Century France” (Duke University Press, 2003) and “Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict” (Princeton University Press, 2014) and awardee of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Society, Mandel researches the impact of policies and practices of inclusion and exclusion on ethnic and religious minorities in 20th century France, most notably Jews, Armenians and Muslim North Africans.
Mandel said an interest in diversity and difference has informed her course offerings and her administrative activities at Brown. A strong proponent of the liberal arts and Brown’s open curriculum, prior to becoming dean, she served as an active member of the leadership of the Department of History and as director of the program in Judaic studies from 2012 to 2014. In addition, she has devoted significant attention to undergraduate advising and mentoring, overseeing numerous student research projects and serving as a seminar leader in the Team Enhanced Advising and Mentoring program. Since becoming dean of the College in 2014, she has helped spearhead several initiatives, including the Engaged Scholars Program, BrownConnect, Wintersession, the FirstGen Students’ Center, and the expansion of the New Scientist Collective.
Programs of the AAJR include a biannual conference for AAJR Fellows, residential seminars for graduate students, graduate research funding, early career workshops for untenured faculty, and the Baron Book Prize, awarded annually to the author of an outstanding first book in Jewish studies.
“AAJR’s mission to create opportunities for those early in their careers is particularly exciting for me,” Mandel said. “It will be incredibly inspiring to be part of such a vibrant community of senior scholars in Judaic studies, but I also look forward to the opportunity to engage with and support those who are starting out in this fascinating and important field.”