Nick Barr, with foliage in background

The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce the recipient of its 2023 Outstanding Instructor in Jewish Studies Award: Nicolaas P. Barr.

Selected for this award by students this spring, Barr is a lecturer in the Departments of Comparative History of Ideas (CHID), History, and International Studies. He teaches courses about how to make sense of — and respond to — antisemitism in the context of white supremacy and racism in Europe. He is also the study abroad director for CHID and leads an annual program to Amsterdam that examines the concepts of identity, prejudice and tolerance.  

In their nominations, students wrote that Barr inspired them to learn more about Jewish history, even though they weren’t Jewish Studies majors or minors. Students commented on his kindness, inclusivity, and how “incredibly illuminating” his courses were, both at the UW and abroad. 

Students expressed that he contributed to their learning through “his encouraging, tactful, and thoughtful instruction.” One even wrote of him that “he is one of the best instructors I have ever had” and thanked him for improving their writing skills. Finally, the students praised the diversity of the voices he brings to class — noting how intersectional the perspectives were. 

Barr’s current book project, provisionally titled The Other of Enlightenment: Critical Theory, Secularism, and Race revisits theories of antisemitism to make sense of the far right’s recent resurgence in Europe. On the Stroum Center website, Barr has written essays on Jewish identity, antisemitism, and Jewish opposition to Islamophobia in the Netherlands.  

Nick, thank you for being such a wonderful colleague and teacher!

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Note: The opinions expressed by faculty and students in our publications reflect the views of the individual writer only and not those of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.