David Patterson

Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies
Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Professor - Literature and History

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Comparative Literature
University of Oregon - 1978
M.A. - Comparative Literature
University of Oregon - 1976
B.A. - Philosophy
University of Oregon - 1972

Research Areas

Areas of Specialization
Holocaust, anti-Semtism, Jewish literature, Jewish history, modern Jewish thought


Overcoming Alienation: A Kabbalistic Reflection on the Five Levels of the Soul 2028 - Book
Portraits: The Hasidic Legacy of Elie Wiesel 2021 - Book
The Literary Response to the Holocaust 2021 - Edited collection
The Holocaust and the Nonrepresentable: Literary and Photographic Transcendence  2018 - Book
  The Legacy of an Impassioned Plea: Franklin H. Littell’s  2018 - Edited volume
Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins 2015 - Book
 Genocide in Jewish Thought  2012 - Book
A Genealogy of Evil: Anti-Semitism from Nazism to Islamic Jihad 2010 - Book
Emil L. Fackenheim: A Jewish Philosopher’s Response to the Holocaust  2008 - Book
Jewish-Christian Dialogue (with Alan L. Berger) 2008 - Book


Oklahoma State [1982–1984]
Assistant Professor of Literature
University of Oregon [1978–1980]


“What History Can Teach Us: Patterns in Antisemitism,”
Tulsa Jewish Community Center
“Antisemitism from Hitler to Hamas,”
Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism, Oxford
“Islamic Jihad and the Holocaust: From Hitler to Hamas,”
International eConference on the Holocaust and Religion
“Antisemitism from Medieval to Modern Times,”
Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, Oxford
“The Singularity of the Nazi Antisemitism,”
Sapienze University, Rome

Additional Information

  • Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy
  • Commissioner for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
  • Member of the Executive Board of Academic Advisors, Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy 
  • Editorial Board member for the Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism
  • Series Editor for Antisemitism Studies, Academic Studies Press
  • Grant evaluator for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  •  Member of the Scholars’ Platform, Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, Cambridge, England
  •  Member of the Weinstein Holocaust Symposium, Wroxton, England
  •  Member of the Executive Committee for the International Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust
  •  Consultant for the Philadelphia Center on Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
  •  Member of Readers’ Committee for the Elie Wiesel Essay on Ethics Award
  •  Facing History and Ourselves Scholar in Residence
  •  Editorial Board for the Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
  •  Grant reviewer for National Endowment for the Humanities
  •  Reader for: University of Toronto Press, University of Alabama Press, Wipf & Stock Publishers, Berghan Publishers, Lexington Books, SUNY Press, Rutgers 
    University Press, Purdue University Press, Routledge, Cambridge University Press, Palgrave Macmillan; University of Tennessee Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Wayne State University Press; University of Missouri Press; Syracuse University Press; Central European University Press, Budapest, Hungary; University of Washington Press; St. Martin’s Press; University Press of Virginia; University Press of Kentucky; The Russian Review; PMLA; Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Christianity and Literature; Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature; Signs; Shofar; Religion and Literature, Southern Jewish History; Associate Editor of Russian, South Central Review

  • 2020    
    • Invited to be a member of The Holocaust Literature and Representation Forum of the Finkler Institute at Bar-Ilan University 
    •  Nominated for the President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Teaching

  • 2019    
    • Nominated for the President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Teaching

  • 2018    
    • Received the Eternal Flame Award from the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches for contributions to Holocaust studies

  • 2017    
    • Invited to serve on the Board of Directors for Truth in Textbooks 
    • Invited to be the Betsy Hotel’s Writer-in-Residence for the 2017 meeting of the Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Association
    • Invited to serve on the International Advisory Board for a worldwide Holocaust  Memorial program honoring Elie Wiesel and Leib Glantz 
  • 2016    
    • Invited to serve on the Content Review Committee for the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
    • Selected as a Fellow in the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism, Oxford University

  • 2014    
    • Called to testify as expert witness in the Farhud reparations hearings in Israeli courts

  • 2009    
    • Winner of the University of Memphis Distinguished Research in the Humanities Award
    • Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Emil L. Fackenheim: A Jewish Philosopher’s Response to the Holocaust
  • 2008 
    •  Recipient of the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath Award
    •  Selected as Scholar-in—Residence for the American Library Association Let ’s Talk About It program, University of Memphis
  •  2007 
    •  Appointed to the Facing History International Scholars Board of Advisors
  •  2006 
    •  Appointed to the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Holocaust Commission
  •  2005 
    •  Appointed to Hadassah’s Academic Advisory Board and Curriculum Watch
    •  Distinguished Teaching Award Nominee
  •  2004 
    •  Awarded Arts and Sciences Research Grant for work on Open Wounds
    •  University College Advising Award
  •  2003 
    •  ALA Award for Outstanding Reference Source 2003 for Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature
    •  University College Distinguished Faculty Award
  •  2002 
    •  Invited to Membership in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
    •  Booklist Editors’ Choice Award 2002 for Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature
  •  2000 
    •  Winner of the Koach Award for Adult Education, Beth Sholom Synagogue
    •  Winner of the Koret Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought and Philosophy (for Along the Edge of Annihilation)
  •  1999 
    •  Selected by the Warren Center and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission for the Colloquium on the Holocaust, Vanderbilt University
  •  1997 
    •  Awarded Arts and Sciences Research Grant for work on The Black Book
    •  Named honorary member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honors Society
    •  Named honorary member of the Golden Key Honor Society
    •  Selected as Honored Member of Strathrnore’s Who’s Who Registry
  •  1996 
    •  Awarded College of Arts and Sciences Certificate of Faculty Excellence
    •  Selected as a Fellow of the Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization, Northwestern University
    •  In Choice the American Library Association named Exile as one of the best academic books of 1995
    •  Appointed to Resource Advisory Panel for Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
    •  Awarded Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities Research Grant for From Kant to the Camps: German Philosophy and the Holocaust
  •  1995 
    •  Selected as Russell Kirk Lecturer, "The Permanent Things," Heritage Foundation
    •  Selected as NEH Visiting Scholar, Southern Oregon State College
    •  Selected as Pepperdine University Guest Professor
  •  1994 
    •  Awarded the Southem Books Competition Award of Excellence, 1992-1993, for The Gospel According to Tolstoy
    •  Awarded Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities Research Grant for Along the Edge of Annihilation: The Collapse and Recovery of LW in the Holocaust Diary
    •  Awarded So. Central MLA Research Grant for Along the Edge of Annihilation
    •  Awarded NEH Summer Stipend for Along the Edge of Annihilation
    •  Awarded A&S Research Grant for work on Holocaust in Berlin
  •  1992 
    •  Awarded NEH Grant for research in Israel on Sun Turned to Darkness: Memory and Recovery in the Holocaust Memoir
    •  Awarded Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities Research Grant for Sun Turned to Darkness
  •  1991 
    •  Selected for inclusion in Who 's Who in Foreign Criticism on Russian Literature (Moscow: 1nstitutMirovoi Literatury, 1992)
  •  1990 
    •  Awarded Arts and Sciences Board of Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship
    •  American Council of Leamed Societies Grant for travel to Cambridge, England
    •  Southwestem Bell Faculty Fellowship Award for The Shriek of Silence: A Phenomenology ofthe Holocaust Novel
    •  Awarded University of Oregon Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award
  •  1989 
    •  Awarded Burlington Northern Achievement Award for Scholarship and Teaching
    •  In Choice the American Library Association named The Ajjirming Flame as one of the best academic books of 1988
    •  Appointed Honor Lecturer for Mid—America State Universities Association
  •  1988 
    •  Finalist for Fred Jones Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award
    •  Grant from Pergamon Press to participate in the Intemational Conference "Remembering for the Future," 10-13 July 1988, Oxford and London
  •  1987 
    •  First Runner-up for 1987 M/MLA Book Award for Literature and Spirit
  •  1986 
    •  Research Grant from South Central Modem Language Assoc. for study in Geneva
  •  1984 
    •  NEH Summer Seminar Grant for study at Harvard University
  •  Oklahoma State University 
    •  Departmental Advisor
    •  Graduate Faculty Nomination Committee
    •  Departmental Personnel Committee (Chair)
    •  Departmental Curriculum Committee
    •  College General Education Committee
    •  Honors Thesis Advisor
    •  Program Review Committee
    •  Faculty Representatives Award Committee (Chair)
    •  Departmental Grants Coordinator
    •  A&S Curriculum Committee
    •  Treasurer, Oklahoma Association of Scholars
    •  Coordinator for Scholar-Leadership Enrichment Program
    •  Coordinator of Russian Section
    •  Co-Director of Workshop on Cultural and Linguistic Differences
    •  A&S Humanities Endowed Professorship Committee
    •  University Scholarship Committee for Study Abroad
    •  NEH Stipend Committee
    •  Scholarly Excellence Award Committee
    •  Departmental Policy Handbook Committee (Chair)
    •  Arts and Sciences Promotion and Tenure Committee
    •  Russian Club Advisor
  •  The University of Memphis 
    •  CAS Host for Great Conversations
    •  CAS Humanities Representative to the University Council
    •  University Council for Graduate Studies
    •  College of Arts and Sciences Tenure and Promotion Committee
    •  Chair of the Sociology Department Chair Search Committee
    •  Chair of the English Department Chair Evaluation Committee
    •  CAS Communication Group
    •  A&S Dean’s Advisory Council
    •  Scholarships Coordinator Search Committee (Chair)
    •  Recruitment Task Force Committee
    •  Who’s Who Committee
    •  Student Research Symposium Judge
    •  Israel at 50 Committee (Co—Chair)
    •  Search Committee for Executive Director of International Programs
    •  Orr Humanities Center Planning Committee
    •  University College Special Projects Award Committee
    •  Enrollment Management Council Retention Committee
    •  Jewish Student Union Faculty Advisor
    •  President’s Task Force on Academic Excellence and Character Development
    •  General Education Committee
    •  University College Faculty Council
    •  Project Unity Planning Committee
    •  Chair, Bomblum Judaic Studies Faculty Advisory Council
    •  RiverPac Faculty Advisor
    •  Faculty Senate
    •  University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
    •  Marcus Orr Lecture Series Committee
    •  Alma Bucovaz Urban Service Award Selection Committee
    •  Co-Director, Orr Humanities Center’s Great Books Seminars
  •  Professional and Community Activity 
    •  Consultant to the Philadelphia Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
    •  Member of the Weinstein Symposium on the Holocaust
    •  Advisory Board for the Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust
    •  Scholars’ Platform for the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, Cambridge, England
    •  Co-Editor-in-Chief for the U of Washington Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies (
    •  Facing History Intemational Board of Scholars
    •  Memphis Holocaust Memorial Committee
    •  Tennessee Holocaust Commission Board of Directors
    •  Belz Museum Board
    •  Consultant for the Belz Museum Judaica Collection
    •  Memphis Holocaust Center Planning Committee
    •  Jewish Historical Society Board Member
    •  Biblical Life Center Advisory Board
    •  Jewish Culture Experience Committee
    •  Association for Jewish Studies Membership Committee
    •  Beth Sholom Synagogue Board
    •  Bomblum Solomon Schechter School Board
    •  Chair of Adult Education Committee, Beth Sholom Synagogue
    •  College Israel Recruitment Committee
    •  Governor’s Tennessee-Israel Cooperation Committee
    •  Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust Advisory Board
    •  Jewish Student Union Board
    •  B’nai B’rith Board
    •  Jewish Book Festival Committee
    •  Vice President for Programming, Jewish Historical Society
    •  Yom HaShoah Committee, Memphis Jewish Federation
    •  Southem Jewish Historical Society Editorial Board
    •  Southern Jewish Historical Society Bomblum Award Committee
    •  President of the Memphis Jewish Historical Society