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Rebekah A. Klein-Pejšová

Rebekah A. Klein-Pejšová

Associate Professor // History

Director of Human Rights Program // Philosophy

Associate Professor // Jewish Studies // SIS

Research focus:
Human Rights History, Modern Jewish History, Modern (East Central) European History

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 6156

Office hours:

  • Spring 2024:
  • Fridays, 10:00am - 12:00pm, in-person or on Zoom
  • Or by appointment


Phone: (765) 494-6810

Fax: (765) 496-1755


HIST 105 Survey of Global History
HIST 325 20th Century European History through Autobiography
HIST 33505 Nationalism and Socialism in East Central Europe
HIST 33805 History of Human Rights
HIST 595 Holocaust and Genocide

Ph.D. Columbia University, 2007


Modern Jewish History, Modern East Central European History (esp. Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), Minority/State Relations, Refugee Studies, Human Rights History 

Affiliations: School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

I came back to New York City to complete my Ph.D. in History at Columbia University after earning my M.A. at the Central European University in Budapest, and my B.A. at Bard College. My experiences working as a tour guide in Prague’s Jewish Quarter in the late 1990s shaped my research interests in ways I would not have guessed while living in East Central Europe (“The Region”) in those transitional years. I am consistently interested in the meaning and function of contact between members of diasporic networks, the perception of that contact by the state and by the surrounding population, and the implications of that perception for long-term intergroup relations. 

I am the founding Director of the Human Rights Program at Purdue, a collaboration between the departments of History, Philosophy, and Political Science, which offers an undergraduate minor and graduate concentration. I am Co-editor of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.  I am active on the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference (GLHRC).

I am currently accepting graduate students. I am interested in advising students in Human Rights, East Central European, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Modern Jewish History, with special attention to war, displacement, genocide, and migration.


My first book, Mapping Jewish Loyalties in Interwar Slovakia (Indiana University Press, 2015), examines the challenges Slovak Jews faced as government officials, demographers, and police investigators continuously tested their loyalty as they reoriented themselves from defeated Hungary to newly established Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the First World War. It traces how the interwar state saw and understood minority loyalty in the radically redrawn map of East Central Europe. I have contributed chapters appearing in Europe on the Move: Refugees in the Era of the Great War (Manchester University Press, 2017), World War I and the Jews: Conflict and Transformations in Europe, the Middle East, and America (Berghahn, 2017), and The Holocaust in Hungary: Seventy Years Later (Central European University Press, 2016). 

Works in Progress

"Jewish Contact Across the Iron Curtain: Meetings and Movements of Jewish People & Artifacts across Cold-War Boundaries", co-edited with Jacob Labendz (Ramapo College)

Book project: Postwar Jewish Displacement, Dispersion, and Diaspora

Forthcoming Publications:

“De-Fiddler-on-the-Roof-ization” contribution to Forum in Honor of István Deák (the late Seth Low Professor of History, Columbia University), Journal of Austrian-American History. Article accepted March 1, 2023. Expected publication summer, 2023.

“Temporalities of Postwar Jewish Emigration,” in Jonathan Karp, James Loeffler, Nancy Sinkoff, and Howard Lupovitch, eds., A Jew in the Street: On the Civic Identity of Modern Jews (Wayne State University Press) festschrift volume in honor of Michael Stanislawski, our Columbia University advisor (forthcoming fall 2024)