Michael Beechert's Guide to the Stars: History Professor Udi Greenberg

Mar 23 2018

Dartmouth has a wealth of experienced professors who lead their respective research fields, while also working closely with students -- inspiring them in the classroom and leading them in laboratory environments. And while at Dartblog we talk frequently about problems that need to be fixed at the College, there are still many bright spots. Our professors deserve more recognition for their achievements. As such, this is one of a series of posts that shines a spotlight on the best professors in Hanover:

greenberg.jpgUdi Greenberg is an Associate Professor of History. His research and teaching, which have been recognized as exceptional by those within as well as outside of the Dartmouth community, focus on modern European thought and how European intellectual, political, and religious currents have both precipitated and been impacted by important change across the globe. As a young historian whose expertise spans national borders in a time in which a sense of internationalism is crucial to understanding almost any problem of importance, Greenberg serves as a model for the sort of vigorous and relevant scholar in whom the College should be proud to invest. The fact that he is a dynamic educator in the classroom is the icing on the cake.

A brief sketch of Greenberg's family history provides a clue as to why Greenberg ended up taking the professional path that he did. Greenberg's Jewish grandparents escaped the persecution of Nazi Germany and ended up in South Africa, whose apartheid government was willing to accept a number of Jews. The racism rampant in South Africa did not sit well with Greenberg's father, so he left South Africa and settled in Israel, where he met Greenberg's mother and where Greenberg himself was raised and educated. Motivated by his family's past to understand how historical circumstances shape the fates of individuals, groups, and nations, Greenberg received his B.A. from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2002 and his Ph.D. from the same institution in 2010. His first exposure to academic life in the United States took place at UW-Madison, where he spent two years, and UC Berkeley, where he spent one. Greenberg was then hired by Dartmouth as an Assistant Professor.

The marrow of Greenberg's scholarship is illustrated by his first book, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War, published by Princeton University Press in 2014. By deftly employing his skills as an international, political, and intellectual historian, Greenberg examines the impact which five German émigrés, who were active in the debates surrounding the failed Weimar experiment, later exerted during the formation of a new international order after the Second World War. These men -- Protestant political thinker Carl J. Friedrich, Socialist theorist Ernst Fraenkel, Catholic publicist Waldemar Gurian, liberal lawyer Karl Loewenstein, and international relations theorist Hans Morgenthau -- carried the seeds of German democratic thought with them to the United States, and they later influenced the American policy that rebuilt postwar Germany and set the tone for the Cold War. Greenberg argues that the course of European history in the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as the global fight against communism, had roots in the largely forgotten-about Weimar period. For his efforts, Greenberg was selected from a field of 65 first-time authors as the winner of the 2016 European Studies Book Award.

Historical religious strife, or the abatement thereof, keeps Greenberg's research schedule full at present. His current project examines the evolution in the relationship between Europe's Catholics and Protestants, who for centuries found every excuse to argue, skirmish, and even wage war. But during the late 1950s and early 1960s, much of this animosity was replaced by relative peace and harmony. Greenberg identifies a heretofore overlooked reason for this easing of tensions: specifically, he points to the end of European colonialism and the resulting competition between Catholics and Protestants to influence how the the rest of the world would be shaped by imperialism. A new era, however, brought new challenges that would require Christian cooperation -- Islam, communism, and revolutionary currents in former colonies. Once more, Greenberg seeks to demonstrate how entire groups of people have experienced and effected change alongside shifting historical moments.

Greenberg has gained renown on campus for his pedagogy; as the recipient of the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching, he was deemed by the Class of 2016 to be Dartmouth's best professor. He has taught courses on Nazism, WWII, Modern Germany, the Nuremberg Trials, and an Introduction to Modern Europe. Students will be able to see him in action this spring in either "WWII: Ideology, Experience, and Legacy" or "Modern European Thought and Culture." Experience Greenberg while you can -- as a recent winner of the prestigious ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Faculty, he will be spending the 2019-2020 academic year at UC Berkeley's Center for the Study of Religion in order to further his research.

Addendum: In the spring of 2013, I took a course offered by the German Department titled "Beyond Good and Evil.¨ Designed to provide a broad survey of various topics relating to German history, art, literature, and culture, it featured a lecture by a different guest professor nearly every week. Udi Greenberg's lecture, which focused on the Nazi period, was the highlight of the entire term and possibly the most riveting hour I spent in class during my undergraduate years.


Phil, We Are Still Waiting

Mar 23 2018

It's been over a month since Phil announced -- for reasons that utterly escaped me -- that the College would soon complete its investigation into alleged Title IX violations by three professors in the PBS department:

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We are still waiting.

Addendum: Somehow someone somewhere developed a communications strategy regarding the three PBS profs. I'll be damned if it makes any sense so far.


The Right Hand and the Left Hand

Mar 22 2018

Or should I have said the elbow and the ...? In any event, two weeks ago the Office of Communications was quick to tout the Paralympic participation of Staci Mannella '18:

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But somehow the story omits to note that Staci is suing the College:

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This type of error occurs due to a lack of institutional memory, when high turnover in a department erases the recollections that would prevent mistakes.