Associate Professor Adam Mendelsohn

A Mendelsohn

Associate Professor Adam Mendelsohn’s research and teaching focuses on how ethnic minorities have grappled with modernity, with a particular emphasis on the experience of Jews.

Adam is co-editor of the journal American Jewish History. He curated the exhibitions The First Jewish Americans at the New-York Historical Society and By Dawn’s Early Light at the Princeton University Museum of Art.  He directs the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies.

Current research projects:

Adam is working on a two-volume history that explores the experience of Jewish soldiers in the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War.  




Select publications:

Sons of Abraham in the Civil War: Jewish Soldiers in Lincoln’s Armies (under contract with New York University Press, expected publication in 2021)

 “Great Britain, the Commonwealth, and Anglophone Jewry” The Cambridge History of Judaism vol. 8 (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

“Not the Retiring Kind: Jewish Colonials in England in the mid-19th century” in Maud Mandel, Ethan Katz, and Lisa Leff, eds., Colonialism and the Jews (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017)

 “From Moses to Moses: Jews, Clothing, and Colonial Commerce” in Adam Teller and Rebecca Kobrin, eds., Purchasing Power: The Economics of Jewish History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015): 125-146.

The Rag Race: How Jews sewed their way to Success in America and the British Empire (New York University Press, 2015)

[Winner of the Best First book Prize from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies

Winner of the quadrennial Book Prize from the Southern Jewish Historical Society

Finalist, Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies

Finalist, Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature]

Transnational Traditions: New Perspective on American Jewish History, with Ava Kahn (Wayne State University Press, 2014)

Jews and the Civil War: a Reader, with Jonathan D. Sarna (New York University Press, 2010)

“Two Far South: Rabbinical Responses to Apartheid and Segregation in South Africa and the American South,” Southern Jewish History, 6, 2003: 63-132


Office Hours:

Please email for appointment times.

Contact details:

Office: Beattie 235 and Kaplan Centre, Upper Campus, UCT
Phone: 021 650 4730