Prof. Em. Frank Felsenstein

Dr. Frank Felsenstein retired in the summer of 2017 after fifteen years as the Reed D. Voran Honors Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Ball State University in Indiana. Prior to that, he served as founding director of the Honors Program at Yeshiva College in New York. He came to America after a long career (1971-1998) in the School of English at Leeds where his title upon leaving was Reader in Eighteenth-Century Studies. His main research contribution to Jewish Studies while at Leeds was authorship of Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: A Paradigm of Otherness in English Popular Culture 1660-1830 (Johns Hopkins, 1995). He also cooperated with Sharon Liberman Mintz in mounting the exhibition and writing the catalogue of The Jew As Other: A Century of English Caricature 1730-1830 (New York, 1995), and with Dr. Eva Fromovic for Hebraica and Judaica from the Cecil Roth Collection (Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, 1997). At Leeds, his course, “Constructions of Otherness: Literature, Ethnic and National Identity”, taught both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, was a popular choice. He served on the Jewish Studies Committee there.

At Ball State University, Felsenstein’s class, “Remembering the Holocaust”, ran as a Senior colloquium in the Honors College, and as a graduate class in the English Department. He remains an active member of the university’s Zeigler Jewish Studies Committee, most recently (2019) co-directing a faculty workshop on “Hollywood and the Holocaust.” He has also been invited as a Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) speaker. Among his Jewish-related publications are ‘“If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?” Stereotypes of Jews in English Graphic Humor of the Georgian Era’, in No Laughing Matter: Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity, ed. Angela Rosenthal, Dartmouth College Press NH, 2016, 49-75, and review articles on the Anglo-Jewish experience for the Jewish Quarterly Review. He has contributed on-line pieces for The Times of Israel, “Reliving 1967: The Six Day War Fifty Years On” (2017) and “Truncated Memories: Berlin and Frankfurt in the Afterlives of Two Jewish Refugee Women” (2017). He is at present completing a book based on his parents’ experience as refugees from Nazi Germany. Its working title is “No Life Without You”: The Refugee Letters of Ernst Moritz Felsenstein and Vera Lotte Felsenstein (née Hirsch), 1936-1939.