Professor Daniel Schroeter, previously at the University of California at Irvine, joins the Department of History to hold the newly created Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Modern Jewish History.
A critic of "orientalism" in Jewish studies, Schroeter is engaged in a broad project of recovering and recasting the history of Jews in North Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Middle East. Schroeter's two scholarly monographs, Merchants of Essaouira: Urban Society and Imperialism in Southwestern Morocco, 1844-1886 (1988) and The Sultan's Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World (2002) are masterful recreations and analyses of the economic, social, cultural, and political experience of Jewish merchants and financiers in Morocco and the Maghreb.
Schroeter received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester in 1984. After holding positions at universities in Paris, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C., Schroeter was tenured at the University of Florida. His next move was to the University of California at Irvine in 1994, where he held the Teller Family Chair in Jewish History for fourteen years.
Schroeter has taught extensively on the history of the Middle East and North Africa, Arabs and Jews, Israel and Palestine, and World History (from the beginnings to the present) as well as all periods of Jewish history. He has published dozens of articles and is currently working on two book-length research projects: "Moroccan Jewries in the Modern Era, 18th-20th Centuries" and "Jews among Berbers: The Photographs of Elias Harrus, 1940-1960."
Assistant Professor Helena Pohlandt-McCormick spent most of her childhood in South Africa and Namibia before returning to her native Germany to get an MA in Communication Studies. After a second master's degree, this time in journalism from the University of Michigan, Pohlandt-McCormick came to the University of Minnesota where she received her doctorate in 1999. Her dissertation, "I Saw a Nightmare: Doing Violence to Memory. The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976," was selected for the e-Gutenberg Prize by the American Historical Association as the best Ph.D. in African History completed between 1999 and 2004. It was subsequently published as a Gutenberg-e book online by Columbia University Press and the American Historical Association. This study examines competing historical memories and representations of the Soweto Uprising by the apartheid regime, the exiled African National Congress, and the children who participated in the event. It analyzes the complex and often convoluted relationships between history as it occurred, history as historians write it, and the memories of those who participated in or witnessed this critical event.
Professor Pohlandt-McCormick's second book, What Have We Done? South Africa Since 1989 (forthcoming from ZED books in spring 2009), explores how social conflict and racial oppression in South Africa cast shadows on the present. Her current research project, "Courage to Cross the Border," is a detailed historical study of the experience and meaning of exile for the thousands of people who fled apartheid.
As a visiting professor at Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the University of Minnesota, Pohlandt-McCormick has taught undergraduate and graduate students to much acclaim. She comes to us now from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.