Teaching Fellows

Jacob Betz

Teaching Fellow Black and white photo of smiling man

Area of Study

Department of History

Jacob Betz

Teaching Fellow

Jacob Betz is a postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Law, Letters, and Society Program. He also teaches in the American Civilization sequence. His research sits at the intersection of religion, law, and the family—specifically how religious groups harness state power on behalf of their youngest members. His first book project is tentatively entitled For the Souls of Children: American Faith and State Support of Religion, 1870-1970. Betz has published articles and book chapters on such topics as immigrant children’s religious practices, Native American religious freedom, and the legality of religious contracts.

Betz received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago, where he held a prize lectureship in the Human Rights Program. His teaching interests include American religious history; law and religion; the history of American childhood; and theories of religion. He has taught previously at Harvard, UIC, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.