New York Public Library
Jody Ellant and Howard Reiter Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Housing the Nation: Jews and Public Housing in Twentieth-Century America


Michael Casper is a historian of modern Eastern European Jewish politics and culture. At the Katz Center, he will examine the Jewish role in planning, theorizing, and inhabiting public housing in 20th-century America.

Casper received his PhD in history at UCLA with a dissertation titled “Strangers and Sojourners: The Politics of Jewish Belonging in Lithuania, 1914-1940.” He has previously held fellowships at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the Posen Foundation.

Selected publications

  • with Nathaniel Deutsch, A Fortress in Brooklyn: Hasidic Williamsburg from White Flight to Gentrification (Yale University Press, forthcoming)
  • “‘Principled Diasporism’: Folkists, Zionists and the Meaning of Doikayt,” Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook 17 (forthcoming)



Delving into some of the most pressing debates within US history and Jewish history, and examining vital questions shaping Jewish cultural studies, literary theory, and social scientific inquiry