Kirsten Fermaglich

Position: Professor
Field: 20th Century, Cultural, Intellectual, Ethnic, Migration, Social, Women & Gender
Region: United States

Office: 309 Old Horticulture
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:30 – 4:30 pm
Phone: (517) 884-4935

Book Cover The Feminine Mystique: Betty Friedan by Kirsten Fermaglich and Lisa Fine

I have been teaching history and Jewish Studies at Michigan State since 2001.  My interests center around the historical meanings and problematic nature of ethnic identity in the United States:  I am particularly interested in secular Jews as both members of and outsiders to the Jewish community.  I am also interested in the ways that gender, race, class, and family intersect with ethnic identity. I am currently researching academic Jewish migration to college towns throughout the United States in the post World War II era.

My most recent book, A Rosenberg by Any Other Name (NYU Press, 2018), explores the history of name changing in the United States in the twentieth century. A Rosenberg by Any Other Name received the Saul Viener Prize for the best book in American Jewish history from the American Jewish Historical Society in 2019. My first book, American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares (Brandeis University Press, 2006), looked at secular Jewish intellectuals’ uses of the Holocaust in the early 1960s. I also co-edited, with Lisa Fine, the Norton Critical Edition of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (2013). I am currently co-editor of American Jewish History with Adam Mendelsohn and Daniel Soyer.

I teach undergraduate classes in American Jewish history and culture, as well as undergraduate and graduate classes in United States history after 1865.