Ari Forsyth (they/them)

Graduate Student
Headshot of Ari Forsyth, a white 23 year old with chin-length bright green hair. They are wearing a green button-up shirt and smiling slightly.

Contact Information

Biography

B.A., History, Rice University, 2021
M.A., History, University of Washington, 2022

I research Jewish migration, racialization, gender normativity, and disability in US imperial regimes in the modern era. I am especially interested in relationships between Jewish American identity, social science, whiteness, liberal citizenship, and systems of welfare in American cities in the Progressive Era (1890-1920).  

Jewish women's motives and methods are critical yet overlooked aspects of how Jewish groups of diverse origins, languages, and heritages were consolidated into a single, imagined racial-ethnic group of “Jewish-Americans,” eligible for whiteness, at the turn of the twentieth century. In my work, I explore how Jewish women produced and policed Jewish claims to American liberal citizenship, whiteness, property, and propriety through social workers. As social workers, Jewish women claimed power as white women and modern professionals, struggling for control of urban space against Jewish women whose practices of labor and sexuality they deemed deviant.

I believe history is a powerful tool for connecting me to the needs of my community, understanding relationships to power, and denaturalizing present hierarchies and seemingly self-apparent systems of knowledge. I serve UW students and community members and welcome requests for insight, support, or advocacy.  

Awards

2024 Thomas M. Power Prize Honorable Mention for the outstanding graduate essay written in the Department of History, “Problem Students of Early Social Work: Race, Disability, and Discipline at the New York School of Social Work, 1915-1920”
Digital History Summer Fellowship, 2023, "Mapping the Jewish Settlement House Movement"
2022 Thomas M. Power Prize Honorable Mention for the outstanding graduate essay written in the Department of History, “Jewish Mothers / Racial Others: Sephardic Women and Girls in Seattle’s Progressive Jewish Settlement House."
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Rice University, 2019

Courses Taught

Affiliations

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