Core Faculty

Senior Associate Director of the University Honors Program, Professor of Theater
785-864-4225
Nunemaker Center, Room 201
Jewish popular culture, religious performance, theatre historiography
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies
785-864-1412
Smith Hall, Room 105

Modern Jewish thought, History of Zionism and the State of Israel, Jewish/Christian relations

Associate Professor, Director, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
785.864.2359
Wescoe Hall, 2140

Representation of Jewish life in Russian and East European literature and film (late 19th century to the present), the cultural dialogue and collaboration between Jews and their Slavic neighbors

Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures
Wescoe Hall, Room 2076

Modern German-Jewish thought; twentieth-century German and Austrian literature and visual culture; the Frankfurt School and Critical Theory; Hegel

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
785-864-7252
Smith Hall, Room 205

Ancient Mediterranean religions, languages, and archaeology; Greek and Coptic papyrology

Director of Jewish Studies,, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Slavic Languages & Literatures
785-864-2356
Wescoe Hall, Room 4029

Yiddish and Slavic morphosyntax and pragmatics, general and Jewish folklore, Jewish culture

Lecturer, Academic Program Associate
785-864-6950
Wescoe Hall, Room 4024A

Hebrew

Lecturer of Jewish Studies
785-864-6949
Wescoe Hall, Room 4024

Jewish history, theology, philosophy, film

Lecturer of Jewish Studies
785-864-6948
Wescoe Hall, Room 4024

Modern Jewish history, medieval and early modern European Jewry, East European Jewry, interwar Polish Jewry, the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, the history of Jewish women

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
785-864-4665
Smith Hall, Room 104

Hebrew Bible, the ancient Near Eastern world, early Judaism (especially the Dead Sea Scrolls), early Christianity, historical relations between Christianity and Judaism

Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
785-864-5895
Wescoe Hall, Room 4027

History of modern Israel, Israeli politics, Middle-Eastern politics, ethnic politics, urban affairs and local governments, public opinion.

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus, American Studies
Professor Emerita, English and American Studies

20th-century African-American and Jewish-American literature, cultural studies and American Studies

Professor Emeritus, Classics, Jewish Studies, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies

Art and archaeology of pre-classical and classical Greece, classical sculpture and architecture, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, early synagogues in the Galilee

 


Jewish Studies Program statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality

Beloved community,

As an academic program in the University of Kansas, we stand in solidarity with Black Americans -- including Black Jewish people -- and everyone hurting after the senseless, brutal murder of George Floyd and all people targeted by systemic racism and injustice in our country. We continue to be committed to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This morning, the Association for Jewish Studies sent out an email reminding us that as scholars of Jewish Studies, we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of discrimination and violence against minority groups. Dr. Cécile Accilien, the Chair of the KU Department of African and African-American studies, shared with us the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Jewish Studies academic community is rich and diverse – it includes scholars and students who are Jewish and non-Jewish, scholars and students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from multiple denominations and creeds, people who are immigrants (like myself) and those who are American-born. The Bible commands: צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף tzedek tzedek tirdof, which translates into English as “Only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In this well-cited verse, the Hebrew word tzedek, or justice, repeats twice. There can be many explanations of the repetition – textual interpretation in all its many forms is a beloved pursuit for many of us. Today, I am going to give you my own interpretation -- though I am sure that it already exists somewhere in the treasury of Jewish exegesis. One tzedek, or justice, you must pursue for yourself and for people like you; that is, perhaps, the justice that is easiest to understand, because we keenly feel injustices committed against ourselves and people like us. The other tzedek is the justice you must pursue for the sake of people who are not like you. It is often a harder lesson, but a necessary one. The justice, or tzedek, which we pursue thus also becomes a gift of chesed, of lovingkindness that enriches all of us.

 

In solidarity,

Dr. Renee Perelmutter,

Director of the Jewish Studies Program

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