MemberImogen Wegman

Having grown up in Hobart, Imogen has a strong connection to her island home. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Tasmania, before moving to the UK to join the University of East Anglia’s Landscape History MA program. Her dissertation examined the creation of ‘isolated’ parish churches – those that stand in the middle of a field, far from their village. She returned to Tasmania to complete her PhD in History at the University of Tasmania, examining the differences between land grants given to convicts and free settlers. Her research continues to examine the practicalities of the life in the early years of a colony, using digital tools such as GIS (mapping) to understand the historic landscape and extract its stories.   Imogen is now a lecturer in history at the University of Tasmania, teaching into the Diploma of Family History and the Bachelor of Arts. She continues to nerd out about maps with her students, teaching them how to find and interpret them for their own research.   Imogen has a keen interest in public histories, and has held a range of non-academic roles that have connected her research with the public. As a tour guide she converted her thesis into a commentary designed for tourists with little to no background knowledge. She also worked behind the help desk in a public library, helping clients research their family history, find information about their house, or pursue other historical questions. She is a popular public speaker, and is regularly invited to speak to diverse audiences. In 2016 she co-founded A Pint of History – a monthly pub-based history event in Hobart, which continues to a provide a space for academics and experts to present their historical research to a large general audience.

MemberIris Agmon

…#8221; Islamic Law and Society, 11 (3, 2004): 333-377.
“Women’s History and Ottoman Sharia Court Records: Shifting Perspectives in Social History,” HAWWA, 2 (2, 2004): 172-209. 

“Text, Court, and Family in Late Nineteenth-Century Palestine,” in Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender, ed. Beshara Doumani, New York: SUNY Press, 2003, 201-228. 
“Women, Class and Gender: Muslim Jaffa and Haifa at the Turn of the 20th Century,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 30, (4, 19…

I completed my Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1995 and won a post-doc fellowship at the (then) newly-established department of Middle East Studies, Ben Gurion University of the Negev. In 1997 I joined the department as a faculty member. My fields of research and teaching include socio-legal history of the Ottoman Empire and the passage of the Ottoman legal system to the colonial era, with a special interest in the Ottoman Sharia court system and legal reforms during the long 19th century; social history of late and post-Ottoman Palestine; family history; microhistory; historiography; historical thinking. In my book, Family and Court: Legal Culture and Modernity in Late Ottoman Palestine (Syracuse University Press, 2006) I focus on the sharia courts of late-Ottoman Jaffa and Haifa. Employing a comparative socio-legal analysis of the records produced in the two courts, I discuss their legal culture. In the book, I offer observations on the impact of the growth and social transformation underwent by the port cities of Jaffa and Haifa on the socio-legal construction of the family. In my current research project I explore the Ottoman Family Code (1917). This important law is misrepresented in the historiography on both late and post-Ottoman Middle East. Another aspect of my research is the daily work of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman sharia courts in Palestine during the First World War and the early colonial period.

MemberJeffrey Mark Paull

Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.  He earned his BS in Chemistry and Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Pittsburgh, and his MPH and Doctorate of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Paull’s career as an environmental toxicologist and scientific expert in the field of occupational and environmental health spans over thirty years (1976 – 2008).

Since that time, Dr. Paull has devoted himself to his passion for Jewish genealogical research and writing.  His first book, entitled: “A Noble Heritage: The History and Legacy of the Polonsky and Paull Family in America,” traces his family’s ancestry over a millennium of history, and discovers their lost rabbinical heritage dating back to Rashi (1040–1105).  His book was recently featured on the PBS website, “Finding your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”

Dr. Paull is very active in the field of genetic genealogy, and has conducted numerous pioneering autosomal and Y-DNA research studies in which he has identified the unique genetic signature of many of Eastern Europe’s most renowned rabbis and tzaddiks (the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, Rabbi Raphael of Bershad, Rabbi Yehuda Kahana of Sighet, the Shpoler Zeida), rabbinical lineages (Katzenellenbogen, Polonsky, Rappaport-Cohen, Shapiro) and Chassidic dynasties (Twersky, Wertheim-Giterman).

In addition to his Jewish genealogical research studies, Dr. Paull recently published a Y-DNA research study on the patrilineal lineage of John Hart, the 13th Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and one of America’s Founding Fathers.

Dr. Paull’s many genealogy-related book chapters, research articles, and publications have surpassed 30,000 views, placing him in the top one percent of all researchers on  He is a highly sought-after speaker, and he has presented talks on his pioneering Jewish genealogical research studies to many genealogical societies, and International Jewish genealogy conferences across the world.

More in-depth information regarding Dr. Paull’s books, and related genealogy and family history projects, may also be found on his website:; and Facebook page: Research questions may be directed to Dr. Paull at

MemberJesse Sadler

I am an early modern historian interested in the social and familial basis of politics, religion, and trade. I received a Ph.D. in European History from UCLA in 2015 and have taught courses on cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe and the Atlantic. My research investigates the familial basis of the early modern capitalism through archival research on two mercantile families from Antwerp at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century. I am currently working on a manuscript that argues for the significance of sibling relationships and inheritance in the development of early modern trade. My manuscript places concepts such as patriarchy, emotion, exile, and friendship at the heart of the efficacy of long-distance trade networks and the growth of capitalism.

MemberJanna C

Janna Coomans is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Medieval History. She defended her dissertation (cum laude), titled “In Pursuit of a Healthy City: Sanitation and the Common Good in the Late Medieval Low Countries”, in June 2018. Her current research project explores the practices of various agents to promote communal wellbeing in the late medieval urban Low Countries. It is part of the ERC-funded interdisciplinary project “Healthscaping Urban Europe”. Her main research interests are the history of (public) health; social and urban history and more theoretical explorations of spatiality and materiality; as well as gender, medicine, crime, and urban governance.

MemberJoachim Schlör

I am Professor for modern Jewish/non-Jewish relations at the University of Southampton and a member of the Parkes Institute. I received my PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1990 and my German habilitation from the University of Potsdam in 2003.My main areas of research are urban history and the cultural history of migration, specifically German-Jewish emigration after 1933. I am the editor of the journal Jewish Culture and History and co-editor of the open access journal Mobile Culture Studies. I have recently published a book on the emigration of a wine merchant’s family from Heilbronn, Germany, to Britain, based on family letters, and I am currently working on a study of memoirs of Berlin in emigrant correspondences.