Reader in Modern Jewish History
François Guesnet is Reader in Modern Jewish History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He holds a PhD in Modern History from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, and specializes in the early modern and 19th century history of Eastern European, and more specifically, Polish Jews.
He is co-chair of the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry and currently serves as Honorary Secretary of the European Association for Jewish Studies. He held research and teaching fellowships at the Hebrew University Jerusalem, the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), and the University of Oxford, the University of Vilnius, the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and at most recently at Dartmouth College.
His book publications include Polnische Juden im 19. Jahrhundert: Lebensbedingungen, Rechtsnormen und Organisation im Wandel (1998), Der Fremde als Nachbar. Polnische Positionen zur jüdischen Präsenz in Polen. Texte seit 1800 (2009), and, with Gwenyth Jones, Antisemitism in an Era of Transition: The Case of Post-Communist Eastern Central Europe (2014). Together with Glenn Dynner he published Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis. Studies in Honor of the 70th Birthday of Professor Antony Polonsky (2015) and the volume Negotiating Religion. Cross-disciplinary perspectives, co-edited with Cécile Laborde and Lois Lee (2017). Most recently, he contributed to the Cambridge History of Judaism, vol. VII.
Current areas of research include: Jewish political tradition (shtadlanut); Jewish autonomy in eastern Europe; Sir Moses Montefiore; history of antisemitism; history of the body (Plica polonica); religion and society