Sowing Seeds: Reports from Summer Scholars

For two-weeks in May/June 2019, a group of 25 scholars from across the country gathered in Charleston, SC, to study Jewish history in the American South. Our curriculum, entitled “Privilege and Prejudice,” set aside ample research time for diving deeper into the field and exploring Addlestone Library’s Jewish Heritage Collection and other rich repositories around the city. Highly motivated and willing to work (and walk!) in an early summer heatwave, they focused on research that could enhance their teaching.

On the last day of the institute, participants offered preliminary presentations and, with help and critiques from their peers, further developed their projects over the summer. The sum product is an eclectic mix of new lesson plans, revamped syllabi, reflective blogposts, and revised research strategies. The plan was always for these projects to be made public, and we hope they open a Pandora’s Box of southern Jewish history, liberating this richly textured subject from obscurity and making it accessible to teachers and scholars in a wide array of fields.

Table of Contents

I. Teaching

Zakiya Adair – Insider/Outsider: Black and Jewish Interactions in Southern Port Cities, Slavery-Jim Crow

Erika Andrus – Creating Community: Religions in the US

Anne Blankenship – Lesson Plans for American Religious History

Terri Desai – Lesson Plan for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Matthew Dischinger – William Faulkner’s ‘Death Drag’

Meaghan Dwyer-Ryan – Lesson Plan: Comparisons and Connections: Irish and Jews in the American South

Catherine Eskin – Privilege and Prejudice: Jewish History in the American South Or What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Melanie Hernandez – Intersectional Racial Productions: Two Case Studies

Elizabeth Johnson – Lesson Plan: Tennessee’s Jewish Religious Architecture

Geoffrey Levin – Report: Teaching about the South in ‘Islamophobia and Antisemitism in American History’

Matthew Pehl – Pluralism and Identity in American Religion, 1870s–1930s

Saskia Coenen Snyder – Shalom Ya’ll: Jewish History in the American South: Engaging History through Objects

Madison Tarleton – Special Topics Lesson Plan: Judaism

Alan Todd – Introduction to Judaism Course


II. Research

Jan Davidson – Privilege and Prejudice: An NEH Seminar in Charleston

Michael Hoberman – River Crossings

Adam Jortner – Making the American Revolution Jewish: Patriotism and Citizenship in Early U.S. Synagogues

Jonathan Judaken – The Zacuto Complex

Amy Milligan – The Jewish Community of Selma, Alabama

Heather Nathans – Playing in the Land of Milk and Honey: Performing Southern: Jewish, and African Diasporic Identities, 1776–1915

Erich Nunn – A Cultural History of Atlanta’s Cabbagetown

David Shaerf – Treatment: Our Jewish Farmers

Benjamin Steiner – The Jewish Marriage Contract in Antebellum South Carolina and Georgia

Rebecca Shimoni Stoil – Doing Honor to Yourselves: Public Commemoration of Francis Salvador and the Defense of Jewish Americanism in a Changing South

David Weinfeld – Report on NEH Institute ‘Privilege and Prejudice: Jewish History in the American South’

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