Research Initiatives

Cutting-edge research, primarily in the form of conferences, working groups, and convenings, advance and bolster new and innovative approaches that make the Grant Center a hub of interdisciplinary thought and development.

Current Projects


American Jewish Historical Society Biennial

Co-Chairs: Michael Cohen (Tulane University); Laura Liebman (Reed College)

May 15-17, 2022 at Tulane University

Tulane will be hosting the premiere conference in American Jewish Studies, the Biennial of the American Jewish Historical Society, which brings scholars from around the globe to emphasize and explore connections, dialogues, and debates in American Jewish studies from transdisciplinary perspectives.

Working Groups

Revisionist Zionism in North America Working Group

Conveners: Brian Horowitz (Tulane University) and Andrew Koss (Mosaic Magazine)

This group brings scholars from Israel and the United States together to explore Revisionist Zionism in North America through three focused workshops. Issues that will be considered include the Bergson Group, the Netanyahus, American Jews and issues of political power, and Meir Kahane. This group provides a unique opportunity for Tulane students to learn about research under discussion and in process, as well as bringing in scholars from outside of the academy. 

Jewish Gender Performance and Drag Working Group

Convener: Golan Moskowitz (Tulane University)

This Zoom-based working group aims to think through questions of how gendered representations of Jewishness and Jewish representations of gender are rendered, performed, and experienced.  Guest speakers from beyond Jewish Studies, whose work on gender and drag offers innovative ways of thinking through relevant questions, join a committed group of cultural historians and scholars of media, performance, and literature. The group strives to be a springboard for developing an expansive theoretical framework regarding Jewish gender performance and drag, with participants complementing each other's disciplinary approaches and ultimately offering written reflections based on our shared work and its impact on our future thinking.

American Jewish Literature Working Group

Conveners: Maeera Schreiber (University of Utah); Josh Lambert (Wellesley College)

The first meeting of its kind, this gathering of respected scholars aims to strengthen the field of American Jewish literature. The group’s challenges include defining the field, its centers and margins, and thinking practically about supporting research and fostering cooperation among scholars, including the next generation of American Jewish Literature professors. The inaugural gathering, hosted by the Grant Center, will lay the groundwork for future working groups at the Center.

American Jewish Economic History Working Group (2021-22)

Conveners: Michael Cohen (Tulane University); Adam Mendelsohn (University of Cape Town)

This working group, hosted via Zoom, draws on the expertise of twelve leading scholars, broadening and enriching the subfield. Most participants work directly on American Jewish economic history, but others work outside this small subfield, and our session leaders are primarily from outside Jewish Studies. We hope that this model broadens the discussion, expands our reach and ambition, and brings our work into conversation. Sessions will be conducted monthly throughout the academic year; at the end, participants will reflect in writing on how the working group will impact their future work.

Additional Projects

This unique website, hosted by the Grant Center, serves as a clearinghouse of information about American Jewish studies, highlighting conferences, new research, and prizes and fellowships. Guided by a national editorial committee, its purpose is to connect scholars from around the world, promoting collaboration across disciplines.

Colloquium in American Jewish Studies

This regular series brings innovative scholars to Tulane University to share and discuss new research with Tulane faculty and students, creating a space for bridging and sharing cutting edge research across disciplines and institutions. Our 2021-22 visitors have included Dr. Gregg Drinkwater (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Mijal Bitton (Shalom Hartman Institute), and our topics range from Queer Jewish studies to Sephardic Jewry and religious intermixing of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions in the American Context. 

Oxford Handbook of American Jewish History

Co-Editors: Michael Cohen (Tulane University); Shari Rabin (Oberlin College)

This volume brings the leading scholars in the field to explore common themes and key developments in the Jewish American experience for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of American Jewish History



Impactful Giving Opportunities

With your help, we can transform the field of American Jewish Studies. Our ambitious plans include the following:


Conferences will create new intellectual connections, uniting scholars from around the world, breaking down disciplinary and subfield boundaries. Sessions will emphasize both the domestic particularity and global orientation of the American Jewish experience.

Working Groups

Working groups will explore anti-Semitism, Jewish identity, and other pressing topics, including the timeliest issues facing American Jewry today. We aspire to be nimble, addressing important topics, like pandemic response, in real time.

Academic Seminars

Academic Seminars will bring the world’s elite scholars to New Orleans, where they will share cutting-edge research with the Tulane community.

Faculty Research Support

Faculty Research Support will enable Tulane’s scholars to expand their research, increasing the international visibility of the Grant Center. 

For questions or more information, contact


“Tulane is poised to be a leader in our understanding of the essential role Jews have played in American culture and society.”

– Brian Edwards, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts