Katherine Sorrels

Katherine E Sorrels

Associate Professor

Associate Professor of History
Affiliate Faculty, Judaic Studies

McMicken Hall


A&S History - 0373

Professional Summary

My research interests are in modern European and North American Jewish history. Specifically, I work on twentieth-century Jewish internationalism, the history of medicine, and disability history. I'm also involved in a number of digital and public humanities projects. I teach on Migration and the Refguee Experience, Immigration in World History, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Nazi Medicine, Sceintific Racism, Holocaust History and New Media, Modern European Historiography, History of Health and Medicine, and Disability History.


Ph.D.: University of Pittsburgh 2009 (History; Concentrations: Jewish History, Modern Europe, History of Ideas)

M.A.: Central European University Budapest, 2000 (History)

B.A.: SUNY Binghamton 1998 (History)

Research Support

05-2021 -05-2024 A&S Dean's Office, University of Cincinnati Dean's Innovation Award

05-2020 -07-2020 National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend

01-2020 -05-2020 Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellowship

09-2019 -12-2019 German Academic Exchange Service Conference Grant

01-2019 -05-2019 Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, Faculty Release Fellowship

09-2018 -08-2019 Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation, Research Grant

05-2017 -04-2018 University Research Council, University of Cincinnati URC Interdisciplinary Award

09-2013 -05-2014 Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, Center Fellowship (Academic Year Research Leave)

06-2012 -08-2012 Taft Research Center, Summer Research Fellowship

Abbreviated Publications


“Complicating the Medical Model of Disability: The Camphill Movement and the Legacy of Viennese Curative Education.” Article under review.

“Residues of the Jewish Home: The Domestic Life of Converts in Modern Jewish History.” Chapter accepted for publication in The Jewish Home: Dwelling on the Domestic, the Familial, and the Lived-In. Leora Auslander, Federica Francesconi, and Joshua Teplitsky, eds. Under contract with University of Pennsylvania Press.

"Police Harassment and the Politicization of Jewish Youth in Interwar Bessarabia," East European Jewish Affairs 47 (1), 2017. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Mb9h3Z8BMEhRWZ27ihqU/full

“Pan-Europe’s Cosmopolitan Outsiders,” Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 46, April, 2015.

“Ethnicity as Evidence of Subversion: National Stereotypes and the Secret Police Investigations of Jews in Interwar Bessarabia”. transversal, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2002.


Review of Unlearning Eugenics: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Disability in Post-Nazi Europe, by Dagmar Herzog. H-Diplo, Roundtable XX-47 (2019) https://hdiplo.org/to/RT20-47.

Review of Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism, by Glenda Sluga. Human Rights Quarterly 39, No. 1, 2017.

Review of Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce, by Sarah Abrevaya Stein. Religious Studies Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2010.

Review of The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, by Adam Shear. Religious Studies Review, Vol 36, No. 3, 2010.

Review of Beyond the Border: The German-Jewish Legacy Abroad, by Steven Aschheim. Religious Studies Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2009.

Review of Die Rumänisierung der Bukowina, by Mariana Hausleitner. transversal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2006.


Cosmopolitan Outsiders: Imperial Inclusion, National Exclusion, and the Pan-European Idea, 1900-1930, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1057/978-1-349-72062-0

Disability and Culture in German-Speaking Europe, Under Contract with Camden House, expected 2022.

Ohio under COVID, in progress.

On the Spectrum: Jewish Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability in the Britain and North America. (Book project in the writing stage)


Invited Presentations

(04-2020. ) Disability, Jewishness, and Belonging from Nazi Vienna to Postwar Britain .Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Philadelphia.

(01-2018. ) Jewish Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability in the English-speaking World .National Library of Medicine, NIH, Washington, DC.

(04-2016. ) "Eurafrica and the Austrian Imperial Legacy" .Duke University, Durham, NC. Workshop. .

(04-2015. ) "Can Social Darwinism be a Basis for Anti-Racism? Views from Vienna, 1911" .Symposium on the First International Races Congress, London 1911, Rutgers University.

Paper Presentations

(12-2020. ) “Homing in on the Jewish Home: Rethinking a Foundational Category in Jewish Studies” .Seminar co-organizer and discussant. AJS 52nd Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies. online.

(05-2020. ) Asperger’s Jewish Colleagues and the Legacy of German Disability Theory .American Association for the History of Medicine. Ann Arbor, MI (Cancelled due to COVID 19.).

(04-2020. ) “Home as a Space of Mutual Reliance for Abled and Disabled Jewish Refugees.” .Philadelphia, PA.

(01-2019. ) On the Spectrum: Jewish Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability .American Historical Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.

(12-2018. ) The International Camphill Movement as a Central European Jewish Subculture .Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference. Boston, MA.

(11-2018. ) German Approaches to Disability in 20th Century America .History of Science Society Annual Conference. Seattle, WA.

(05-2018. ) Villagers: Countercultural Communities and a New Approach to Disability in mid-twentieth-century Europe .Los Angeles, CA.

(12-2017. ) Jewish Refugees from Central Europe and the Politics of Special Education in the English-speaking World, 1938-1966 .Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference. Boston, MA.

(07-2017. ) German Folk Medicine in a Global Context .25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(05-2017. ) Nazis, Jews, and the Politics of Homeopathy in the mid 20th Century .American Association for the History of Medicine. Nashville, TN.

Honors and Awards

2019 Award for Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching, University of Cincinnati All-University Faculty Awards

2020 Public Humanities Award, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center

2021 Gene Lewis Faculty Teaching Prize, Department of History, University of Cincinnati