James Loeffler

James Loeffler

Ph.D. Columbia University, (2006), Dissertation: "The Most Musical Nation: Jews, Culture and Nationalism in the Late Russian Empire"; M.A. Columbia University (2000); B.A. Harvard University (1996); Founding Director, Vice-academic co-chair, Jewish Music Forum of the American Society for Jewish Music (New York); Research Director, Pro Musica Hebraica (Washington, DC).
James Loeffler is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia. Between 2013 and 2015 he was a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow in International Law and Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law School. At UVA he teaches courses in Jewish and European history, legal history, and the history of human rights.
His most recent publications include two books: Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2018), and a co-edited volume, The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyering and International Law in Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2019). His first book, The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010), won eight awards and honors. Currents works in progress include a new biography of Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin and the forgotten political origins of the genocide convention, a co-authored study of early twentieth-century musician Avraham Zvi Idelsohn and the birth of cultural Zionism; and an edited collection of essays on new historiography of Zionism.
His other research interests include international legal history, American Jewish politics, the past and present of Zionism, contemporary Jewish culture and its East European roots, and the history and future of Jewish music. For ten years he served as scholar-in-residence at Pro Musica Hebraica in Washington, DC, where he curated historically-informed concerts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has also served as a consultant to the Center for Jewish History, Carnegie Hall, National Public Radio, and the Moscow Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, among other institutions.