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Maurice Samuels, Yale University,
June 21, 2011

Statement by Professor Maurice Samuels, Director,Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism

I look forward to taking on the challenge of directing YPSA. One of my primary goals is to engage my colleagues from across the university in ways that produce important research contributions. Yale has some of the leading scholars in the world working on antisemitism and interfaith-relations in different contexts and from different methodological and disciplinary perspectives. Bringing these scholars together will make an important contribution to the study of antisemitism.

Our vision is for YPSA to have five major components:

· To have scholars both from Yale and from the outside present their research on antisemitism in both the contemporary world and in different historical contexts. We hope these presentations will take place every other week throughout the academic year

· To host an annual conference on a focused theme relating to antisemitism. The topic for spring 2012 will likely be past and present antisemitism in France, which is one of my primary areas of research

· To support faculty and student research on antisemitism by offering a number of research grants

· To sponsor a faculty reading group in which scholars from across the university will meet to discuss important texts pertaining to anti-Semitism

· To have a visiting professor teach a class on antisemitism every year (this could begin in 2012-13).

I will begin by reaching out to my colleagues who work on antisemitism in order to learn more about their interests and concerns, and find ways for YPSA to address them. This summer, I will also begin to invite scholars to present their research.

YPSA will discuss both contemporary antisemitism and historical antisemitism. Like many, I am concerned by the recent upsurge in violence against Jews around the world and YPSA will address these concerns. I also believe that we benefit a great deal by placing current events into historical context. YPSA will not refrain from exploring any controversial contemporary topic.

As a member of the Yale faculty and the director of the new program, I will do my best to ensure that all academic work associated with YPSA reflects Yale’s tradition of the highest scholarly excellence.

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