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Executive Committee

Eugene Avrutin Eugene M. Avrutin is Associate Professor of modern European Jewish history and Tobor family scholar in the Program of Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Jews and the Imperial State: Identification Politics in Tsarist Russia (Cornell University Press, 2010). Avrutin has published articles on documentation practices; the concept of race; and religious toleration and neighborly coexistence in the East European borderlands. Together with Harriet Murav (Professor of Slavic Literatures at the University of Illinois) and Petersburg Judaica (a Jewish Studies institute affiliated with the European University in St. Petersburg), he edited Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky’s Ethnographic Expeditions (Brandeis University Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the visual arts category. Most recently, he edited with Robert H. Greene (Professor of Russian history at the University of Montana) a critical edition of the memoirs of the educator and feminist Anna Vygodskaia (Northern Illinois University Press, 2012). Avrutin is currently working on a microhistory of a sensational ritual murder trial that took place in Velizh in the second quarter of the nineteenth century (1823-1835).

Dale BauerDale M. Bauer has been a Professor of English at Illinois since 2004. She has also taught at the University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Miami University of Ohio, College of the Holy Cross, and Franklin & Marshall College. In addition to writing on feminist and critical pedagogy, she has also published Feminist Dialogics, Edith Wharton’s Brave New Politics, and edited collections on Bakhtin and feminism, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-paper,” and 19th-century American women’s writing. Her new book, Sex Expression and American Women Writers has been published in 2009 by the University of North Carolina Press. In this analysis of how women writers created a rhetoric of sexuality, she moves from sentimental fictions like The Morgesons and The Silent Partner to the huge bestsellers by Jewish-American writer Fannie Hurst. This new rhetoric of sexuality enabled critical conversations about who had sex, when in life they had it, and how it signified. She is currently editing a History of American Women's Writing for Cambridge University Press.

Eric CalderwoodEric Calderwood is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Arabic Studies.  He also holds Affiliate Faculty appointments in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the Program in Medieval Studies, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and the Program in Jewish Culture & Society.  His research explores the political uses of the past in modern Mediterranean culture.  He is particularly interested in the cultural memory of al-Andalus (medieval Muslim Iberia), which has served diverse and contradictory projects in several Mediterranean contexts, including Spain, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Palestine.  He is also interested in the cultural production of the Sephardic diaspora – and especially literature written by North African Jews living under Spanish and French colonial rule.



Virginia R. Dominguez is Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, immediate past Editor of the American Ethnologist, and forthcoming President of the American Anthropological Association. She is also Co-founder and now Consulting Director of the International Forum for U.S.Studies which moved with her to the University of Illinois in 2007. Author, coauthor, or editor of 8 books and dozens of articles many of Virginia Dominguezthem published outside the United States – including People as Subject, People as Object: Selfhood and Peoplehood in Contemporary Israel (University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana (Rutgers University Press, 1986), and From Beijing to Port Moresby: The Politics of National Identity in Cultural Policies (Gordon and Breach, 1998) – she is best known for theorizing and analyzing cultural politics, public discourse, assertions of sameness and the reproduction of otherness (both in general and with particular attention to Jewishness, Israeli society, and whiteness). She is also the recipient of major fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the Harvard University Society of Fellows, the National Science Foundation, and the Fulbright Program. Her most recent recognition for teaching was the 2006 Outstanding Mentor Award (Social Sciences) presented to her by the University of Iowa Graduate College. Professor Dominguez, a native of Cuba, earned her Ph.D. at Yale University in 1979 in Social Anthropology, and taught at Duke University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, and the University of Iowa prior to moving to Illinois in 2007. Her special interest in Israel and Israeli Jewish society date back to her first visit in December 1979 and, prior to that, her times on the Lebanese-Israeli border in the summers of 1970 and 1971 when her parents lived in Beirut.

Sara Feldman

Sara Feldman is the Lecturer in Yiddish and Hebrew language. Feldman received her doctorate in Near Eastern Studies in 2014 from the University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. Her dissertation, entitled "Fine Lines: Hebrew and Yiddish Translations of Alexander Pushkin's Verse Novel Eugene Onegin, 1899-1937," explores the function of translated Russian literature in the development of both modern East European Jewish and Israeli culture. Her recent publications include "Jewish Simulations of Russian Simulation of Folk Poetry" in Slavic and East European Journal and translations from Russian and Yiddish. She is currently writing a monograph entitled People of the Russian Book. Besides translation studies, her interests include questions of diaspora and empire, quantitative and digital approaches to poetry, Yiddish theater, Pushkin studies, East European Jewish radicalism, bilingual Israeli media, Jewish women's languages, Jewish piety and apostasy, Yiddish tango, and the echoes of traditional Jewish religious texts in modern Hebrew literature. She recently performed in "Wooden Wars," a contemporary queer Yiddish play.

Dara E. Goldman is an Associate Professor of Spanish, specializing in 19th, 20th, and 21st century Hispanic Caribbean andDara Goldman Latin American literatures and cultures, gender studies and cultural studies. She is the author of Out of Bounds: Islands and the Demarcation of Identity in the Hispanic Caribbean (Bucknell Univ. Press, 2008) and is currently completing a manuscript of Latina lesbian narratives. She has conducted research on Jewish communities in Cuba and the Dominican Republic and has written about the role of Jewishness in contemporary Caribbean novels of self-discovery. In addition to the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Professor Goldman also holds appointments as Affiliate Rachel HarrisFaculty in the Center for Global Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Latina/Latino Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory.

Rachel S. Harris is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois, where she teaches Israeli literature and culture. She is author of An Ideological Death: Suicide in Israeli Literature (Northwestern Up, 2014) and co-editor of Narratives of Dissent: War in Israeli Arts and Culture (Wayne State Press, 2012). Her book Warriors, Witches, Whores: Women in Israeli Cinema is forthcoming with Wayne State Press. She is co-editing Beyond the National: Israeli Cinema and its Transnational Identity, and editing the pedagogical book Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Among her recent publications are Israeli Literature in the 21st Century: The Transcultural Generation a Special Issue of Shofar (Volume 44, Issue 3, 2015) Russian-Jewish Diaspora post-1970: Special Issue Journal of Jewish Identities (Issue 4, Number 1, January 2011, edited with Anna P Ronell) and The Jewish Woman and Her Body (Special Issue: Nashim June 2012). She has also published articles in Israel Studies, JOJI and the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. She is series editor for Dalkey Archive Press’ Hebrew Literature in Translation Series.

Brett Ashley Kaplan received her Ph.D. from the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley and is now a Profesor and Conrad Humanities Scholar and Director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society and Interim Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies Initiative. Her books are Unwanted Beauty: Aesthetic Pleasure in Holocaust Representation (University of Illinois Press, 2007) andBrett Kaplan Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory (Routledge, 2011), Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth (Bloomsbury, 2015). She has published articles in Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature Studies, International Studies in Philosophy, Philip Roth Studies, Comparative Literature, Images: Journal of Jewish Art and Culture, and Camera Austria, among other venues. She is currently working on a project about the intersections of black and Jewish arts.

Harriet Murav is Professor of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She is the author of Holy Foolishness: Dostoevsky's Novels & the Poetics of Cultural Critique (StanfordHarriet Murav University Press, 1992), Russia's Legal Fictions (University of Michigan Press, 1998; Winner, MLA 1999 Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures), and Identity Theft: The Jew in Imperial Russia and the Case of Avraam Uri Kovner (Stanford University Press, 2003). She received a Guggenheim in 2006-07 for her book Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia (Stanford University PRess, 2011) , a study of Russian and Yiddish literary works from the 20s through the turn of the 21st century, with particular emphasis on the themes of the body, language, translation, mourning, and memory in Isaac Babel, Dovid Bergelson, Perets Markish, Rivke Rubin, Vasilii Grossman, Felix Roziner, Fridrikh Gorenshtein, Dina Rubina, Alexandr Melikhov, and other writers. Murav also co-edited Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expedition with Eugene Avrutin and St. Petersburg Judaica (Brandeis University Press, 2009) and is about to publish (again with Avrutin) Jews in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John Klier. In addition, she is the editor of a book series exploring new approaches to Russian-Jewish Studies, "Borderlines: Russian and East-European Jewish Studies," at Academic Studies Press.

Dana Rabin is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. She specializes in eighteenth-century Britain with an emphasis on crime, law, gender, and race. Her first book, Identity, Crime and Legal Responsibility in Eighteenth-Century England, is a study of the language of mental states in the English courtroom. The book sets legal sources within a cultural context to reveal the relationships between emotion, responsibility, gender, and citizenship in the eighteenth century .Her current project, Britain and its Internal Outsiders 1750-1800: Under Rule of Law, under contract with Manchester University Press, examines the intersection of metropolDana Rabine and colony through an analysis of legal events that unfolded in London in the second half of the eighteenth century. The book features six case studies: the Jewish Naturalization Act and Elizabeth Canning kidnapping case (each unfolded in 1753-1754); the Somerset Case (1771-72); the Gordon Riots (1780); the Spithead and Nore mutinies of 1797; and the Act of Union with Ireland in 1800. Each instance revolved around the presence of outsiders at home. These scandals exposed the contradictions in Britain's ideology of equality, rights, and freedom and the imbrication of metropole and colony. Rabin is already at work on a new project about Jews in the Caribbean in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Bruce RosenstockBruce Rosenstock is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Associate Director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society. He received his Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton and, prior to coming to Illinois, he taught at Stanford and the University of California at Davis. He has published articles on ancient philosophy and also on the Hebrew Bible, Jewish-Christian relations in fifteenth-century Spain, Sabbatianism, and the modern philosophers Hannah Arendt and Stanley Cavell. His first book is New Men: Conversos, Theology, and Society in Fifteenth-century Castile (2002, University of London). A second book titled Philosophy and the Jewish Question: Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and Beyond was published by Fordham University Press in 2010. In 2012 he published a translation with commentary of Moses Mendelssohn's Last Works (University of Illinois Press) and his new book, Transfinite Life: Oskar Goldberg and the Vitalist Imagination, is due out with Indiana University Press in 2017. His current project is Hegel and the Holocaust, a study of Alexandre Kojeve, Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, Edith Wyschograd, and Gillian Rose.

Dov WeissDov Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion. He completed his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Martin Meyer Fellow in 2011 and was the Alan M. Stock Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies in 2012. After receiving rabbinic ordination from RIETS (Yeshiva University) in 1999 as a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Dov helped found Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinic School where he served as Director of Operations and instructor of Talmud and Jewish Law. Specializing in the history of Jewish biblical interpretation and rabbinic theology, Dov’s most recent articles include “Divine Concessions in the Tanhuma Midrashim” [Harvard Theological Review (108:1)] and “The Sin of Protesting God in Rabbinic and Patristic Literature” [AJS Review39:2]. His first book, Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2016.