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Graduate Students

The Chicago Center for Jewish Studies was created as an inter-divisional center in the Divisions of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Divinity School whose aim is to nurture dialogue among the many disciplines, scholars, and students engaged in Jewish Studies at the University. Our students come from a wide range of departments. The following is a list of our current students (with their academic advisor) and their academic interest(s).

Anthropology Department

Yaqub Hilal, (Silverstein, Michael), Migratory Bedouin communities in Israel

Anna Jabloner, (Masco, Joseph), Genetics, kinship, capitalism, identity, biopolitics

Art History Department

Michael Tymkiw (Mehring, Christine), Nazi exhibition design, modernism, and race

Committee on Jewish Studies

Igor H. De Souza (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish philosophy, hermeneutics, and literary genres in medieval Jewish philosophical writing

Joanna Nemeh (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish feminism

Committee on Social Thought

Anastasia Artemyev Berg (Pippin, Robert), Medieval Jewish thought, Spinoza

Lauren Butler Bergier (Pavel, Thomas), Dreyfus Affair, Jewish history and culture in France, Jewish-Christian relations

Avner Inbar (Pippin, Robert)

Alexander Orwin

William Wood (Pippin, Robert)

Comparative Human Development Department

Roscoe Nicholson   Dissertation: How Primary Care Physicians View the Impact of Specific Aspects of Religion on Psychological Well-Being

Comparative Literature Department

Johanna Theresa Semler (Meltzer, Francois), Animals and humans in Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda and post-Holocaust literature

Divinity School

Jessica Andruss (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish and Muslim scriptural exegesis

Miriam Bilsker (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish intellectual history

Ezra Blaustein (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish and Muslim intellectual history

Kristel Clayville (Schweiker, William), Hebrew Bible

Joshua Connor (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish thought, concepts of the soul, and the relation between science and religion

Matthew Creighton (Mendes-Flohr, Paul)

Raphael Dascalu (Robinson, James T.)

Jessie DeGrado (Chavel, Simi), Hebrew Bible

Erik Dreff (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Medieval Jewish thought, Spinoza

Jeffrey Fowler (Hector, Kevin), Doctrinal theology and Jewish-Christian theological relations

David Frankel (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish and Islamic intellectual history

Kelli Gardner (Chavel, Simeon), Hebrew Bible, Wisdom Literature and gender

David Gottlieb (Fishbane, Michael), Rabbinic thought and Jewish cultural memory

Stephen Hall (Fishbane, Michael), Hebrew Bible

Elizabeth Hopp-Peters (Fishbane, Michael), Hebrew Bible

Ruchama Johnston-Bloom (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Hybrid identities

Liane Marquis (Stackert, Jeffrey), Hebrew Bible

Katharine Mershon (Rosengarten, Richard A.), American Jewish literature

Chaim Neria (Robinson, James T.)

Yiftach Ofek (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish thought, political theology, philosophy of history, Zionism, Hebrew literature

Gary Shapiro (Fishbane, Michael), Rabbinic literature, Hellenistic Judaism, constructive Jewish theology

Yonatan Shemesh (Robinson, James T.), Medieval Jewish thought

Sam Berrin Shonkoff (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), Modern Jewish intellectual history, concepts of revelation, Biblical hermeneutics

Jordan Skornik (Stackert, Jeffrey), Biblical and ancient Near Eastern thought and poetics

Pesach Weinstein, History of religions

Ori Werdiger (Mendes-Flohr, Paul)

Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg (Robinson, James T.), The history of the Jewish book, Jewish-Christian relations, and the reception history of the Hebrew Bible

Sarah Yardney (Stackert, Jeffrey), Hebrew Bible

Alexandra Zirkle (Mendes-Flohr, Paul), 19th Century German-Jewish intellectual history

Germanic Studies Department

Bastian Reinert (Lüdemann, Susanne), Jewish-German literature: post-war poetry (Paul Celan); Holocaust testimony and (false) autobiography (Ruth Klüger, Binjamin Wilkomirski); posthumous voice in post-war drama (Elfriede Jelinek)

Andrea Wald (Wellbery, David), “Discourses of Surface and Ornament in Literature, Art, and Psychoanalysis ca. 1900.”

History Department

Anna Mahler Band (Auslander, Leora), Modern Jewish history

Aidan Beatty (Auslander, Leora), Israeli history, Zionist thought.

Natalie Belsky (Fitzpatrick, Sheila), Soviet Jewish history

Ilana Miller (Zahra, Tara), Central European Jewish history, life after WW II, relationships to Israel

Uri Shachar (Nirenberg, David), Ideologies of holy warfare; intellectual encounters between Jews, Christians & Muslims during the time of the crusades, with a focus on France and the Crusading Near East

Ori Yehudai (Wasserstein, Bernard), Emigration from Palestine and Israel 1881-1951

MAPSS (Master of the Arts in Social Sciences)

Robert Nicholson, Modern Jewish history, Jewish community survival strategies during WW II.

Music Department

Iddo Aharony (Ran, Shilamit), Jewish and Israeli music, literature and culture

Meredith Aska McBride, American Jewish popular music (20th and 21st centuries), critical whiteness studies and Euro-American ethnic cultures, musical transnationalism and American immigration history, diaspora studies, urban cultural geography of Jewish music

Lillian Wohl (Bohlman, Philip), Ethnomusicology. Jewish musical performance, memory and history, Latin American Music, Jewish Latin America.  Dissertation: “Mucho Ojo! Spectacles of Jewish Memory, Ethnicity and Religion in Contemporary Musical Performance in Buenos Aires”

NELC Department

Annie Greene (Bashkin, Orit), Ottoman/Modern Iraqi history and Arabic-Hebrew literature

Charles Huff (Pardee, Dennis), Dissertation: “Sabbath in the Pentateuchal Priestly Literature”

Eric Paul Jobe (Golb, Norman), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “Innovation in Post-Biblical Hebrew Poetry: A Stylistic Analysis of Qumran, Hekhalot, and Payyetanic Poetry”

Nathan Mastnjak (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology

Matthew James McAffee (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “A Lexical and Literary Analysis of Life and Mortality in Ugaritic”

Charles Joseph Otte III (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology

Michals Peles-Almagor, Modern Hebrew Literature and Language

William Douglas Pickut (Golb, Norman), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “Literary Genres in Poetic Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Min Won Song (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology

Vincent Johannes van Exel (Schloen, David), Ancient Near East History specifically Syria-Palestine

Jacqueline Eliza Vayntrub (Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “Proverbs and the Limits of Poetry”

Monique Denise Vincent (Schloen, David), Ancient Near East History specifically Syria-Palestine. Dissertation: “Households, Communities, and Dimensions of Social Identity in the Early Iron Age at Tall al-‘Umayri”

Liran Yadgar (Lewis, Frank), Judaism and Islam

Political Science

Shayna Zamkanei (Robert Gooding-Williams and Orit Bashkin), Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

Romance Languages and Literatures Department

James Nemiroff, Early Modern Spain



Rachel Adelstein (Bohlman, Philip), Modern Jewish liturgical song, Holocaust music

Samuel Lanham Boyd (2014; Pardee, Dennis), Near Eastern Judaica. Dissertation: “Contact Linguistics and Textual Reuse in the Hebrew Bible: A Socio-linguistic Approach to the Comparative Method in the Hebrew Bible”

Aaron Butts (Hasselbach, Rebecca), Comparative Semitics. Dissertation: “Language Maintenance, Lexical Borrowing, and Grammatical Replication: The Case of Greek and Syriac”

David M. Calabro (2014; Pardee, Dennis), Hebrew Studies/Near Eastern Judaica, ritual gestures. Dissertation: “Doing Things with Hands: The Ritual Use of Hand Gestures in Northwest Semitic Literature and Iconography”

Michael Figueroa, Music of the Middle East, Jewish music, historiography, cultural geography, postcolonial studies, history of ethnomusicology

Humphrey (Chip) Hardy (2014; Pardee, Dennis), Northwest Semitic Philology. Dissertation: “Diachronic Development in Biblical Hebrew Particles: A Case Study in Grammaticalization”

Joela (Zeller) Jacobs  (Wild, Christopher), German-Jewish literature