Jewish studies faculty mentor Nexus Scholars

Undergraduate students in the Cornell College of Arts & Sciences have the opportunity to conduct research with Jewish studies faculty this summer through the Nexus Scholars Program. Two Jewish studies faculty members - Daniel Schwarz and Deborah Starr - have proposed research projects through the program.

The Nexus Scholars Program provides undergraduate students with summer opportunities to work side by side with faculty from all across the college (humanities, social sciences, and STEM) on their research projects. Along with the summer research experience, the program offers professional development workshops, career exploration events, and the chance to be part of a cohort from throughout the college who are passionate about learning.

Daniel Schwarz, Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, is the author of numerous articles and eighteen books, including “Imagining the Holocaust,” (1999), “Reading Joyce’s  Ulysses,” (1987) and most recently “Reading the Modern European Novel Since 1900,” (2018).

Schwarz observes, "Undergraduate research can open the intellectual doors and windows to a lifetime of pursuing knowledge, whatever profession the student ultimately chooses.”    

Deborah Starr, professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Program, writes and teaches about identity and intercommunal exchange in the modern Middle East, with a focus on the Jews of Egypt. Her most recent book, “Togo Mizrahi and the Making of Egyptian Cinema,” (2020) recovers the history of a Jewish filmmaker who played an important role in the establishment of a film industry in Egypt.

“I think it’s great that the college has created this opportunity for students to conduct research side-by-side with professors in a range of disciplines, including in the humanities,” says Starr. “A research opportunity I had as a student really shaped my own college experience and I am eager to provide similar opportunities for Cornell students. The project I will be working on this summer grows out of my recent book on a Jewish filmmaker in Egypt active in the 1930s and 40s. I am hoping to work with a student to explore other dimensions of the diversity in early Egyptian cinema.”

Students interested in learning more about the Nexus Scholars Program, and about the research projects proposed by Professors Schwarz and Starr should visit for more information. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2022.

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