Nicolaas P. Barr (he/him/his)

Director of Study Abroad; Part-Time Lecturer
headshot of Nicolaas P. Barr

Contact Information

PDL B101
Office Hours
By appointment

Biography

Ph.D., History, UC Berkeley
B.A., History/Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington

I work with faculty on CHID's study abroad programs and teach for CHID, History, and Jewish Studies. I'm the translator of Djinn, a coming-out memoir by the Moroccan-Dutch politician and writer Tofik Dibi, published in SUNY Press's Queer Politics and Cultures series in 2021.

Cover of Djinn by Tofik Dibi

My research, translation, and teaching interests are driven by the question of how to make sense of, and respond to, forms of violence and social domination. I'm especially interested in understanding antisemitism in relation to the wider histories of white supremacy and ongoing forms of racialization in Europe. My book project, provisionally titled The Other of Enlightenment: Critical Theory, Secularism, Race, revisits the Frankfurt School's analysis of antisemitism to interpret the far right's resurgence in the post-Holocaust context of European "philosemitism" and (self-proclaimed) enlightened secularism, focusing on the Netherlands. My study abroad program in Amsterdam examines how Dutch identity is being refashioned by Dutch people of color amid the supposed crisis of normative (white) Dutch national identity and "tolerant" values. In 2023, I received the Stroum Center's Outstanding Instructor in Jewish Studies award.

I've written on Dutch racism in The Nation and Jewish Currents and am an editor for H-Low Countries. I'm a trombonist in the Mexican band Banda Vagos.

 

Research

Selected Research

Courses Taught

CHID Thesis Advising Areas

I am especially excited to advise CHID thesis projects that engage with intellectual history and critical theory, political theory and contemporary politics, and Jewish Studies/religious studies. Analytical writing is my forte, but through working with students on a range of types of projects, I've discovered that I also enjoy advising creative work and exploring how different mediums and genres facilitate different modes of reflection and engagement. 

Some recent thesis projects that I've advised include:

  • a podcast on connections between Judaism and leftist politics
  • a collection of erasure poetry + images from the 2014 Hong Kong civil disobedience protests
  • a critical analysis of YouTube algorithms and white supremacist radicalization online

Resources & Related Links

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
American Historical Association, Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap

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