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Faculty & Staff


Faculty News 2011

Faculty News - Fall 2012


DAVID BLUMENTHAL taught the “Introduction to Judaism” course in the Candler School of Theology, part of the ongoing commitment of TIJS and the Department of Religion to share resources between the units.  He continued to curate the exhibit of Salvador Dali’s “Aliyah, the Rebirth of Israel” as it traveled to Brown University/RISD Hillel and University of Washington Hillel, presenting introductory talks on the background and message of the exhibit at both venues.

ODED BOROWSKI served as the first Judith London Evans Director of TIJS for 2011-12.  He continues to direct field excavations at Tell Halif in Phase IV of the Lahav Research Project, analyzing and supervising publication of the results.  His book Lahav III:  Tell Halif, Site 72 Cemetery is in press with Eisenbrauns.  He attended the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in San Francisco in November, presenting the invited paper “’Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith’ (Prov. 15:17):  Special meals in biblical lore,” and, with Seung Ho Bang, the contributed paper “Cult Objects in Field V at Tell Halif.”  He directed the honors thesis “Analysis of Remains from Field V Excavations at Tell Halif:  An Archaeological Source of Identity” by undergraduate Katheryn Rose Reynolds in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies.

SANDER GILMAN returns to campus after two years on leave during which he was research professor of the humanities at the University of Hong Kong for spring term of 2011 and 2012; and senior fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Durham University for the fall term 2012.  At Hong Kong he ran (among many other activities) a major international conference on “Jews, Christians, Muslims:  Collaboration and Conflict in the Contemporary World.”  He lectured widely in the United States, Israel, Western Europe, and Asia on a wide range of topics, including those relevant to TIJS in fields from contemporary immigration policy in Europe to the history of Jewish art and music.

ERIC GOLDSTEIN served as director of the new graduate certificate program in TIJS during fall 2011 and was on leave for spring 2012 working on his latest book.  He completed his term as editor of the journal American Jewish History with the publication of four issues in 2011-12.  Along with Prof. Cornelia Wilhelm, he organized the symposium “Reconsidering the ‘German Jew’ in America:  Images and Identities” at Emory in September 2011 and presented the paper “How German were German Jewish Immigrants to America in the Nineteenth Century?  The Case of Baltimore.”  At the University of Michigan conference Todd M. Endelman and Modern Jewish Historiography, he gave the paper “People of the Pamphlet:  Toward a History of the Reading Culture of Jewish Immigrants to America.”  In December he participated in a panel on “Scholarly Projects, Personal Connections” at the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies at Washington, DC, and in May, he chaired a session on Jews and military service in the modern world at the conference Jews, Military Service, and Collective Belonging at Emory.  He is a Fellow of the Sami Rohr Institute for Jewish Literature.

NAAMA HAREL teaches and oversees the Hebrew language program in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies.  She developed and taught the new Jewish literature course “Animal Stories,” and she hosted Israeli playwright Motti Lerner in her Hebrew 301 class, also taking the class to see his play “Pangs of the Messiah” at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta.  Her article “Compassion towards Animals in the Hebrew Revival Literature” was accepted for publication in Hador:  The Hebrew Annual of America, and her chapter “Constructing the Nonhuman as Human:  Scientific Fallacy or Literary Device” was published in Cedric Barfoot (Ed.), Restoring the Mystery of the Rainbow:  Literature’s Reflection of Science.  During 2011-12, she presented at several conferences, including the paper “Animals in the Hebrew Revival Literature” at the 2011 International Conference on Hebrew Language, Literature and Culture at the University of Maryland; “Biblical Narratives in Contemporary Israeli Media” at the Association of Jewish Studies annual meeting in Washington, DC; and “Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’:  100 Years of Animal Solitude” at the conference Minding Animals:  Building Bridges between Science, the Humanities and Ethics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.  As part of the Seminar Series in Jewish Studies of TIJS, she presented the paper “’And His tender mercies are over all His works’:  Compassion towards Animals in Jewish Literature.”

bennybookBENJAMIN HARY served as director of the linguistics program at Emory during 2011-12.  His book (with Ruth Ben-Yehuna Adler) Daily Life in Israel:  Listening and viewing comprehension:  Teacher Guide  and Student Guide, with listening and viewing topics on CD, was published by the Hebrew University Academon Press.  Other publications include the article “Religiolinguistics:  On Jewish-, Christian-, and Muslim-Defined Languages,” with Martin J. Wein, which will appear in the International Journal for the Sociology of Language, plus chapters in edited volumes.  His numerous talks and papers presented included “The Jewish Linguistic Spectrum” at the Association for Jewish Studies in Washington, DC in December; “On the Linguistic Connection between Religiolects, Migration, and Archaic Features” at the North American Conference on AfroAsiatic Linguistics at Rutgers in February; and in March, the paper “Israel as a Bi-Lingual State:  The Politics of Judeo-Arabic” at the conference Israel Between East and West at the University of Calgary.  His 2009 book Translating Religion was nominated for the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award.

JEFFREY LESSER served as chair of the Department of History for 2011-12.  He edited the issue “Together Yet Apart:  Jews and Arabs in Latin America” of the journal Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, (Leon Zamosc, series editor).  He delivered numerous talks and keynote lectures and, with Raanan Rein of Tel Aviv University, organized the symposium “Sports, Multiculturalism and Transnationalism” at Tel Aviv in March.

DEBORAH LIPSTADT was named one of the “175 Makers of History” as part of Emory’s celebration of its 175th anniversary (see  She was awarded an honorary degree by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in recognition of her scholarship and public role in fighting Holocaust denial and, as part of that ceremony, delivered the talk “The Impact of the Eichmann Trial on the State of Israel” in Beer-Sheva in May.  Her numerous other talks included “Holocaust Denial:  A Universal Phenomenon” at the conference On Teaching About the Holocaust at Trinity College, Dublin, in August; “On Using Oral Histories of the Holocaust as Historiographical Evidence” at the Shoah Foundation Oral History Project at the University of Southern California in January; and participation in The Eichmann Trial:  A Roundtable Discussion at the United Nations in April.  She participated in four undergraduate honors projects, including directing two:  Jessica Katz, summa cum laude in Jewish studies, “’Di Griner’ in Buenos Aires: Exploring Holocaust Survivors' Oral Histories”; and Allison Klein, summa cum laude in history, “Holocaust Survivors and Jim Crow in Atlanta.”  Her book The Eichmann Trial was a finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Awards.

DON SEEMAN served as director of the graduate certificate program in TIJS during spring 2012, developed and taught the new Jewish studies methods course required for the graduate certificate program, and organized the Seminar Series in Jewish Studies during that time.  He and Sarah Willen (Ph.D. ’06) edited a special issue of the journal Ethos, based on a 2008 conference they organized at Emory, entitled Horizons of Subjectivity:  Phenomenological and Psychoanalytic Anthropology and co-wrote the introduction “Horizons of Subjectivity:  Trends in Psychoanalytic and Phenomenological Anthropology.”  He presented the paper “Contemplative Prayer, Ethnography and Human Flourishing” to the Social Science Research Council Finalists Symposium New Directions in the Study of Prayer in New York in March, resulting in the awarding of a major grant for the coming year.  Other talks presented include “Reframing the Debate on Ethiopian, Jewish and Jewish Christian Ethnicity in Israel” at the conference Reframing Israeli Ethnicity at Temple University in April; and “Reasons for the Commandments as Contemplative Practice in Maimonides” to the Contemplative Practices Research Group at Emory in March.  He continues as associate editor of the journals Prooftexts and Common Knowledge and is a founding member of the board of directors of the International Rabbinic Fellowship.

MIRIAM UDEL served as director of undergraduate studies for TIJS during 2011-12.  She has received a grant from Emory’s University Research Committee to release her from teaching for 2012-13 in order to complete work on her first book.  Her work in the Yiddish program at Emory has garnered national attention through an Associated Press article reprinted in the Houston Chronicle and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and an item on National Public Radio.

CORNELIA WILHELM organized with Eric Goldstein the Emory symposium “Reconsidering the ‘German Jew’ in America:  Images and Identities” in fall 2011.  She also organized a public lecture series entitled “America and the Germans:  Conflict and Cooperation” to continue into fall 2012.  Both events are cosponsored by DAAD as well as a number of Emory departments and programs.  Her book The Independent Orders of B’nai B’rith and True Sisters:  Pioneers of a New Jewish Identity was a finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Awards.  In December, she presented the paper “Social Activism in the B’nai B’rith:  Defining Identity and Community” at the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies in Washington, DC, and the paper “Diversity in Germany:  a historical perspective” at the conference “(Re)Considering the last 50 Years of Migration and Current Immigration Policies in Germany” at Georgetown University.  She is the editor of the series New Perspectives on Modern Jewish History for De Gruyter Publishers, with two volumes issued in 2011.

JACOB WRIGHT was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Candler School of Theology.  He was on leave during 2011-12 with a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship (the only one awarded to any Emory faculty member this year and the only one given in Biblical studies) supporting his research on the role of war as a catalyst for change in Ancient Israelite society.  With Brad E. Kelle and Frank Ritchel Ames, he edited the book Interpreting Exile:  Interdisciplinary Studies of Displacement and Deportation in Biblical and Modern Contexts (Brill), including his chapter “The Deportation of Jerusalem’s Wealth and the Demise of Native Sovereignty in the Book of Kings.”  In May, with Derek Penslar of the University of Toronto he organized the conference “Jews, Military Service, and Collective Belonging:  From Antiquity to the Present” at Emory.

OFRA YEGLIN was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies.  She developed and will teach in fall 2012 a new course on American-Jewish literature.  Her book Restless Shards:  Abba Kovner’s Long Modern Holocaust Poem is in press at Sifriat Poalim Publishers.  During 2011-12, she served on the Blumenthal Awards Committee for TIJS.








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