Robert H. Abzug is Audre and Bernard Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Texas. From 2007-2017, he was Founding Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at Texas. He received his BA magna cum laude from Harvard and Phd. in history from University of California, Berkeley, and taught at Berkeley and UCLA before coming to Texas in 1978. In 1990-91, he held the Eric Voegelin Visiting Professorship at University of Munich. Abzug has been a Guggenheim and NEH Fellow. At UT, he has also served as chair of American Studies and director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program, and received the Friar Society Centennial Teaching Fellowship and several other major teaching awards, as well as those for service to the campus community.
Abzug’s research has centered on aspects of the evolution of moral consciousness in American life. He is the author of many articles and five books: Passionate Liberator: Theodore Dwight Weld and the Dilemma of Reform (1980), Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps (1985), Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination (1994), America Views the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (1999), as well as an annotated and abridged edition of William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience (2012). He also co-edited, with Stephen Maizlish, a festschrift for their mentor, the late Kenneth M. Stampp, entitled New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America (1986). In the realm of Jewish Studies, he is editor of the book series, Exploring Jewish Arts and Culture for the University of Texas Press. He is also researching the nature of small-town Jewish life in the United States and Canada from a variety of perspectives, and is co-directing the Gale Collaborative for the Study of Jewish Life in the Americas.
He is currently finishing a biography of the American psychologist Rollo May (to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018) that focuses on the interpenetration of religion and psychotherapy in modern American culture.