Devin E. Naar is the Marsha and Jay Glazer Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington. Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Naar graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis. Following a year in Greece as a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Naar began his PhD in History at Stanford University. Dr. Naar’s dissertation, “Jewish Salonica and the ‘Making of the Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ 1890-1943,” received the Elizabeth Spillman Rosenfeld Prize for best written dissertation in Stanford’s Department of History in 2011.
At the UW, Dr. Naar teaches courses on modern Jewish history, Jewish culture from the Hebrew Bible until today, Sephardic history and culture, the Holocaust, and relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean region.
Dr. Naar also spearheads the new Sephardic Studies Initiative at UW as part of the Stroum Jewish Studies Program. As part of this initiative, Dr. Naar has begun a pilot project entitled, “Seattle Sephardic Treasures,” which seeks to uncover the rich Ladino and Sephardic heritage here in Seattle and preserve source materials for future generations.
In recognition of the contributions he has already made to the study of Sephardic history, Dr. Naar was recently elected to the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History in New York. He is the only assistant professor to receive this prestigious post, where he will represent the American Sephardic Federation.