Katalin Franciska Rac earned her doctorate from the University of Florida in 2014. Her dissertation, "Orientalism for the Nation: Jews and Oriental Scholarship in Modern Hungary," studies the mutual influence between Orientalism and Jewish integration in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hungary. During her doctoral research in 2011–2012, she was a Leo Baeck Fellow and during the 2013–2014 academic year she was a recipient of an ACLS dissertation fellowship in East European studies. Her areas of scholarly interest include the history of the idea of Europe, modern European Jewish intellectual and cultural history, the history of Oriental studies in Europe, and European gastronomic history. During the fall semester, Dr. Rac will explore the work of Ignaz Goldziher (1850–1921), the founder of Islamic studies and advocate of modern Jewish studies in Hungary.


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Katalin Franciska Rac (2014-2015)