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About Dr. Nick Underwood


Modern Jewish history, Modern European history, modern French history, cultural history, Yiddish studies, performance studies, history of fascism and antifascism, urban history.

Personal Statement

I am thrilled to be here at The College of Idaho! Broadly speaking, I am a historian of modern Jewish and modern European history. Especially, I research Yiddish culture in France, and I am interested in how Yiddish-speaking Jews during the twentieth century created Yiddish culture in a way to mark their Frenchness. I have also written about the histories of French and Jewish music and food.

Here at the College, I will offer courses on global Jewish and European history. I am planning College of Idaho study tours to Europe and Israel/Palestine. 

Professional Experience

Nick has taught courses on modern Jewish, European, and World history at Sonoma State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Napa Valley College. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at the GHI Pacific Regional Office at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.  He also serves as managing editor for the journals East European Jewish Affairs and American Jewish History and as project manager for the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project (


  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
  • M.A., American University
  • B.A., Florida State University


Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Modern Jewish Experience series, 2022.
“Seeing the Spanish Civil War in the Yiddish Press in Popular Front France.” Jewish Culture and History 22, no 1 (2021).
Nick Underwood and Karen Auerbach, co-guest editors, East European Jewish Affairs nos. 1-2 (2020), a special issue on “Yiddish in the City.”
"The Yiddish Art Theater in Paris After the Holocaust, 1944–1950." Theatre Survey 61, no. 3 (2020): 1–21.
"Lending Identity: Circulating Literacy, Current Events, Yiddish Culture, and Politics in Interwar France." Contemporary French Civilization 45, no. 1 (2020): 71–88.
Nick Underwood, Mattie Fitch, and Michael Ortiz, co-guest editors, Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies 9, nos. 1-2 (2020) titled “The Global Cultures of Antifascism, 1921–2020,”
"Vegetarianism as Jewish Culture and Politics in Interwar Europe." In Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism: Studies and New Directions, edited by Jacob Ari Labendz and Shmuly Yanklowitz.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 2019.
"La France et l’Exposition internationale de 1937 au prisme de la presse yiddish." Archives Juives 51, no. 1 (2018): 75–92.
"The Most Beautiful Children: Communist Contests and Poetry for Jewish Youth in Popular Front Paris." Jewish Social Studies 23, no. 1 (2017): 64–100.
"Dressing the Modern Jewish Communist Girl in Interwar Paris." French Politics, Culture & Society 34, no. 1 (2016): 86–103.
"Exposing Yiddish Paris: The Modern Jewish Culture Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair." East European Jewish Affairs 46, no. 2 (2016): 160–175.
"Aron Beckerman's City of Light: Writing French History and Defining Immigrant Jewish Space in Interwar Paris." Urban History 43, no. 4 (2016): 618–634.