Robert Isaacson

Robert Isaacson

Robert Isaacson is a senior PhD student in the History Department of the George Washington University, and expects to complete his degree in May, 2017. Robert holds an MA from GWU, and earned a BA in Jewish Studies from the Schreyer Honors College of the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. He is a specialist in modern French political and cultural history, Jewish history, Eastern Europe, and the figuration and politics of otherness in twentieth century Europe. His research examines the intersection of the French-Israeli diplomatic relationship and the transformation of the political Left and Right in France following the Second World War. Robert’s dissertation, “From ‘Brave Little Israel’ to ‘an Elite and Domineering People’: The Image of Israel in France, 1944-1974," aims to make clear the semantic link between Israel, Jewishness, identity politics, and foreign policy in mid-twentieth century France, and demonstrates how thinking about Israel helped French citizens to re-conceptualize their wartime past, colonial present, and multi-ethnic future. His research has received support from the Society for French Historical Studies, the American Academy for Jewish Research, and GWU. He has published separate research on Dreyfus-era antisemitism in French colonial Algeria, that challenges the binary division of modern and early modern antisemitism.
Robert has worked extensively in French and American defense, diplomatic, and communal archives, and has six years of teaching experience. He currently teaches the class HIST 3001: “Antisemitism: Origins to the Present,” which he designed, as an instructor for the History Department.

Current Research

French cultural and diplomatic history; Jewish politics; philo- and anti-Semitism; Zionism; French empire.


“The ‘James Bond’ of Cherbourg: Imagining Israel in Pompidou’s France,” French Historical Studies (In Press).

"Three Visions of Conflict: The Six Day War and the French Press, 1967," North Carolina State Graduate Journal of History vol. 2 (2014).

“Antisemitism and Catholic Colonial Algeria in the Time of Dreyfus: Recovering the Conspiratorial World of La Croix de l’Algérie et de la Tunisie, 1899,” Essays in History vol. 56 (2014).

Classes Taught

HIST 3001: Antisemitism: Origins to the Present

HIST 1121: The War of Ideas in European and International History

HIST 1120: European Civilization in World Context

HIST 1011: World History, 1500-Present

HIST 2804: The History of Ancient Israel

HIST 2113: The Roman World to 337 A.D.