University of Chicago Completed Dissertations on Topics Related to Jewish Studies

Divinity School, Biblical Studies:

Benjamin Sommer, “Leshon Limmudim: The Poetics of Allusion in Isaiah 40-66” (1994). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Esther Menn, “Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in Ancient Jewish Exegesis: Studies in Literary Form and Hermeneutics” (1995). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Shannon Burkes, “A Comparative Analysis of the Problem of Death in Qoheleth and Late-Period Egyptian Biographies” (1997). Advisor: John Collins.

Rebecca Raphael, “Divine Word, Divine Song: Inspiration and Authority in Hesiod and First Isaiah” (1997). Advisors: John Collins, Michael Murrin.

Michael Douglas, “Power and Praise in the Hodayot: A Literary-Critical Study of 1QH 9:1-18:14” (1998). Advisor: John Collins.

Dereck Daschke, “Loss, Fantasy, and Recovery in Ancient Judaism: Ezekiel, 4 Ezra, and the Baruch Apocalypses as Texts of Mourning” (2000). Advisors: John Collins, Peter Homans.

Brenda Shaver, “The Prophet Elijah in the Literature of the Second Temple Period: The Growth of a Tradition” (2001). Advisor: John Collins.

Matthew Goff, “The Worldly and Heavenly Wisdom of 4QInstruction” (2002). Advisor: John Collins.

Karina Hogan, “Theologies in Conflict in 4 Ezra: Wisdom Debate and Apocalyptic Solution” (2002). Advisor: John Collins.

Amelia Devon Freedman, “God as an Absent Character in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: A Literary-Theoretical Study” (2003). Advisor: Tikva Frymer-Kensky.

Patricia Ahearne-Kroll, “‘Joseph and Aseneth’ and Jewish identity in Greco-Roman Egypt” (2005). Advisor: John Collins; Committee: Janet Johnson, David Schloen.

Claudia Bergman, “Childbirth as a Metaphor for Crisis in the Hebrew Bible and in 1QH 11:1-18” (2006). Advisor: John Collins.

Antonios Finitsis, “Visions and Eschatology: A Socio-Historical Analysis of Zechariah 1-6” (2007). Advisor: John Collins; Committee: Martin Riesebrodt, David Schloen.

Meira Kensky, “Trying Man, Trying God: The Divine Courtroom in Early Jewish and Christian Literature” (2009). Advisor: Hans-Josef Klauck; Readers: Michael Fishbane, Gregory Sterling.

Edward Silver, “The Prophet and the Lying Pen: Jeremiah’s Poetic Challenge to the Deuteronomic School” (2009). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Yairah Amit, Jeffrey Stackert.

Elizabeth Hopp-Peters, “Breaking Pots, Making Metaphors: Symbolic Action in the Book of Jeremiah” (2010). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Kathleen O’Connor, Jeffrey Stackert.

Anne Knafl, “Forms of God, Forming God: A Typology of Divine Anthropomorphism in the Bible” (2011). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Simeon Chavel, Jeffrey Stackert.

Divinity School, History of Christianity:

Erika Tritle, “To the Jew First and to the Greek: Alonso de Cartagena's "Defensorium Unitatis Christianae" and the Problem of Jewish Flesh in Fifteenth-Century Spain” (2015). Advisors: Willemien Otten, David Nirenberg; Committee: Susan Schriener.

Divinity School, History of Judaism:

Nathaniel Deutsch, “Guardians of the Gate: Angelic Vice Regency in Late antiquity” (1995). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Elsie Stern, “From Rebuke to Consolation: Exegesis and Theology in the Liturgical Anthology of the Ninth of Av Season” (1998). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Charles Vehse, “Foundations of the Reform Movement in Hamburg: German Judaism in Transition During the Early 19th Century” (1998). Advisors: Michael Fishbane, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Natalie Dohrmann, “Law and Narrative in the ‘Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael’: The Problem of Midrashic Coherence” (1999). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Francoise Meltzer, Tikva Frymer-Kensky.

Jonathan Schofer, “The Making of a Sage: The Rabbinic Ethics of ‘Abot de Rabbi Natan’” (2000). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Deborah Green, “Soothing Odors: The Transformation of Scent in Ancient Israelite and Ancient Jewish Literature” (2003). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Laura Lieber, “‘Let Me Sing for My Beloved’: Transformations of the Song of Songs in Synagogal Poetry” (2003). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Rebecca Schorsch, “The Making of a Legend: Louis Ginzberg’s ‘Legends of the Jews’.” (2003). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Jerome Copulsky, “Between Exile and Redemption: Political Theology and the Shaping of Modern Jewish Thought” (2004). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Mark Lilla.

Ellen Haskell, “Metaphor and Symbolic Representation: The Image of God as a Suckling Mother in Thirteenth-Century Kabbalah” (2005). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Cass Fisher, “Claiming God: Theological Predication and its Limits in ‘Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael’ and ‘The Star of Redemption’” (2005). Advisors: Michael Fishbane, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Steven Sacks, “‘In His Hand is a Sceptre of Fire and a Veil is Spread Before Him’: Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer and the Exposition of Medieval Midrash” (2006). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: James Robinson, Jonathan Z. Smith.

Jane Kanarek, “Let the Story Remain with Us: Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law” (2007). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Benjamin Sax, “Language and Jewish Renewal: Franz Rosenzweig’s Hermeneutic of Citation” (2008). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Michael Fishbane, James Robinson.

Elliot Cosgrove, “Teyku: The Insoluble Contradictions in the Life and Thought of Louis Jacobs” (2008). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Hillel Gray, “Foreign Features in Jewish Law: How Christian and Secular Moral Discourses Permeate Halakhah” (2009). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Sarah Imhoff, “Making Jewish Gender: Religion, Race, Sexuality, and American Jews, 1910–1924” (2010). Advisor: Clark Gilpin; Committee: Leora Auslander, Michael Fishbane, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Heather Miller Rubens, “Also Other: Utilizing Different Minority Narratives in the Making of Anglo-Jewish Identity” (2011). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Clark Gilpin, James Robinson.

Dov Weiss, “Confrontational Theology in Post-Classical Rabbinic Literature” (2011). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Paul Mendes-Flohr, Avigdor Shinan.

Eszter Fuzessy, “Dialogues Between Sages and Outsiders to the Tradition: Creation of Difference as a Literary Method of Religious Polemics in Rabbinic Literature” (2011). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Hans-Josef Klauck, Richard Rosengarten.

Samuel Brody, “This Pathless Hour: Messianism, Anarchism, Zionism, and Martin Buber’s Political Theology Reconsidered” (2013). Advisor: Paul Mendes Flohr; Committee: David Nirenberg, James Robinson, Eric Santner.

Shatha Almutawa, “Imaginative Cultures and Historic Transformations: Narrative in Rasā’il Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’” (2013). Advisor: James Robinson; Committee: Tahera Qutbuddin, Paul Walker.

Ruchama Johnston-Bloom, “Muhammad, the Qur’an and German-Jewish Modernities: Gustav Weil, Josef Horovitz and Muhammad Asad” (2013). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Orit Bashkin, James Robinson.

Chaim Neria, “It Cannot Be Valued with the Gold of Ophir (Job 28:16): Rabbi Joseph b. Shem-Tob’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Sources and Analysis.” (2015). Advisor: James Robinson; Committee: Josef Stern, Steven Harvey.

Jessica Andruss, “Exegesis, Homily, and Historical Reflection in the Arabic Lamentations Commentary of Salmon ben Yeruhim, Tenth-Century Karaite of Jerusalem” (2015). Advisor: James Robinson; Committee: Michael Fishbane, Meira Polliack, Tahera Qutbuddin.

Divinity School, History of Religions:

Gregory Spinner, “After the Temple, Before the World: Redefining Sacrifice in Ancient and Medieval Judaism” (2003). Advisors: Wendy Doniger, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg, “The People of the Book Without the Book: Jewish Ambivalence Towards the Biblical Text After the Rise of Christianity” (2015). Advisor: James Robinson; Committee: Wendy Doniger, Michael Allen.

Divinity School, Philosophy of Religions:

Sarah Hammerschlag, “The Figural Jew: Uprooting the Discourse of Race in French Thought, Post-1945” (2006). Advisor: Francoise Meltzer; Committee: Arnold Davidson, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Andres Tupac Cruz, “Towards the death of intention: Walter Benjamin's epistemological and epistemo-critical writings, 1916-1925” (2012; The Catholic University, Bogata, Columbia). Advisor: Arnold Davidson; Committee: Paul Mendes-Flohr, Eric Santner.

Joseph Ballan, “Infinite Ambiguity: Elements of Vladimir Jankelevitch’s Philosophy of Religion” (2014; PhD Fellow, Copenhagen University). Advisor: Arnold Davidson; Readers: Ryan Coyne, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Divinity School, Religious Ethics:

Jeffrey Israel, “Jewish Humor and the Political Ethics of De-Stigmatization” (2011). Advisor: Martha Nussbaum; Committee: Robert Gooding-Williams, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Divinity School, Religion and Literature:

Spencer Dew, “Pedagogy and Community: Kathy Acker’s ‘Talmudic Mode’" (2009). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

David Lee Simmons, “Poetry, Religion, and History: Johann Gottfried Herder on Genesis 1–11” (2011). Advisor: Anthony C. Yu; Readers: Paul Mendes-Flohr, Jeffrey Stackert.

Divinity School, Theology:

Courtney Fitzsimmons, “Loving God: Images of Love in Iris Murdoch and Franz Rosenzweig” (2010). Advisors: Paul Mendes-Flohr, William Schweiker; Committee: Maria Antonaccio.

Humanities, Committee on Jewish Studies:

Alexander Ari Joskowicz, “Anticlerical Alliances: Jews and the Church Question in Germany and France, 1783-1905” (2008). Advisors: Michael Geyer, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Andrew Sloin, “Pale Fire: Jews in Revolutionary Belorussia, 1917-1929” (2009). Advisors: Leora Auslander, Sheila Fitzpatrick.

Mari Rethelyi, “German Jews as Hungarian Nationalists and the Emergence of Oriental Studies” (2009). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Michael Sells.

Judah Levine, “‘Talmud Torah’ in Modern Jewish Thought: Martin Buber and the Renewal of Text-Centered Judaism” (2010). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: James Robinson.

Melissa Weininger, “Imagining Jesus, Imagining Jews” (2010). Advisor: Menachem Brinker; Committee: Francoise Meltzer, Paul, Mendes-Flohr, Jan Schwarz.

Rachel Seelig, “Between Center and Periphery: Weimar Berlin as a Multilingual Jewish Literary Space” (2011). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Eric Santner.

Igor De Souza, “Philosophical Commentaries on the Preface to the Guide of the Perplexed, 1250-1360” (2014). Advisor: James Robinson; Committee: Josef Stern, Glenn Most.

James Jacobson-Maisels, “The Self and Self-Transformation in the Thought and Practice of R. Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira” (2014). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Rachel Fulton Brown, James Robinson.

Humanities, Comparative Human Development:

Lilah Shapiro, “Driven to Orthodoxy: Jewish Identity and Narratives of Exceptionalism, Essentialism and the Family in American-Jewish Culture as Motivations for ‘Conversion’ to Orthodox Judaism” (2012). Advisor: Richard Schweder; Committee: Bertram Cohler, Richard Taub, Barbara Schneider.

Humanities, Germanic Studies:

Joela (Zeller) Jacobs, “Speaking the Non-Human: Plants, Animals, and Marginalized Humans in Literary Grotesques from Oskar Panizza to Franz Kafka” (2015). Advisor: Christopher Wild; Committee: Eric Santner, David Wellbery, Mark Payne.

Humanities, Music:

Rachel Adelstein, “Braided Voices: Women Cantors in Non-Orthodox Judaism” (2013). Advisor: Philip Bohlman; Committee: Catherine Brekus, Melvin Butler, Kaley Mason.

Michael Figueroa, “Music and the Jerusalem Question: Song, Poetry, and Politics, 1967 to Present” (2014). Advisor: Philip Bohlman; Committee: Travis Jackson, Kaley Mason, Edwin Seroussi.

Humanities, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations:

Anthony Tomasino, “Daniel and the Revolutionaries: The Use of the Daniel Tradition by Jewish Resistance Movements of Late Second Temple Palestine” (1995). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Stuart Creason, “Semantic Classes of Hebrew Verbs: A Study of Aktionsart in the Hebrew Verbal System” (1995). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Pamela Jean Owens, “Suffering from Aleph to Taw: The Imagery of Suffering in the Book of Lamentations” (1997). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Eric Reymond, “Even Unto a Spark: An Analysis of the Parallelistic Structure in the Wisdom of Ben Sira 40:11 to 44:15” (1999). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Joshua Holo, “An Economic History of the Jews of Byzantium from the Eve of the Arab Conquest to the Fourth Crusade” (2001). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Blane Conklin, “Oath Formulae in Classical Hebrew and Other Semitic Languages” (2005). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Israel Sandman, “The ‘Meshobeb Netibot’ of Samuel Ibn Matut (‘Motot’): Introductory Excursus, Critical Edition, and Annotated Translation” (2006). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Michael Wechsler, “The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli the Karaite on the Book of Esther: Edition, Translation, and Introduction” (2006). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Koowon Kim, “Incubation as a Type-Scene in the Aqhatu, Kirta, and Hannah Stories: A Form-Critical and Narratological Study of KTU 1.14 I-1.15 III, 1.17 I-II, and 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11” (2010). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Theo Van den Hout, David Schloen, Jeffrey Stackert.

John David Walton Burnight, “Reversal and Response in Job 3-5” (2011). Advisor: Dennis Pardee: Committee: Norman Golb, David Schloen.

Joseph Ching Po Lam, “The Metaphorical Patterning of the Sin-Concept in Biblical Hebrew” (2012). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Walter Farber, Josef Stern, Yairah Amit.

Eve Krakowski, “Female Adolescence in the Cairo Geniza Documents” (2012). Advisor: Norman Golb; Committee: Fred Donner, Marina Rustow.

Humphrey (Chip) Hardy, “Diachronic Development in Biblical Hebrew Particles: A Case Study in Grammaticalization” (2014). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Rebecca Hasselbach, Salikoko Mufwene.

Benjamin David Thomas, “Hezekiah and the Compositional History of the Book of Kings” (2013). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Jeffrey Stackert, David Schloen, Steven McKenzie.

Samuel Lanham Boyd, “Contact and Context: Studies in Language Contact and Literary Strata in the Hebrew Bible” (2014). Advisors: Dennis Pardee, Jeffrey Stackert; Committee: Rebecca Hasselbach, Lenore Grenoble.

David M. Calabro, “Ritual Gestures of Lifting, xtending, and clasping the hand(s) in Northwest Semitic literature and iconography” (2014). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: David Schloen, Michael Silverstein.

Drayton Brenner, “The Sound of the Psalter” (2015). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Rebecca Hasselbach, John Goldsmith.

Nathan Mastnjak, “The Prophet Who Was before Me: Allusions to Deuteronomy in the Book of Jeremiah” (2015). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: David Schloem, Jeffrey Stackert, Ronnie Goldstein.

Matthew McAffee, “Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical, Literary, and Comparative Analysis” (2015). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Jacqueline Eliza Vayntrub, “Proverbs and the Limits of Poetry” (2015). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Humanities, Slavic Languages and Literatures:

Karen Christine Underhill, “Bruno Schulz and Jewish Modernity” (2011). Advisors: Bozena Shellcross; Committee: Paul Mendes Flohr, Malynne Sternstein, Agata Lielik-Robson.

Social Sciences, Committee on Social Thought:

Erin Dana Leib Smokler, “God in the Years of Fury: Theodicy and Anti-Theodicy in the Holocaust Writing of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira” (2014). Advisors: Paul Mendes-Flohr and David Nirenberg; Committee: Gershon Greenberg.

Social Sciences, Department of History:

Daniel Greene, “The Crisis of Jewish Freedom: The Menorah Association and American Pluralism, 1906–1934” (2004). Advisor: Kathleen Conzen; Committee: Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Avshalom Rubin, “The Limits of the Land: Israel, Jordan, the United States, and the Fate of the West Bank, 1949–1970” (2010). Advisor: Bernard Wasserstein; Committee: Orit Bashkin, Holly Schissler.

Imhof, Elizabeth Mizrahi, “Between Home and Homeland: The Transformation of American Jewish Political Identity, 1945–1973” (2012). Advisors: Paul Mendes-Flohr, Salim Yaqub; Committee: David Shneer, James Sparrow.

Sara Yael Hirschhorn, “City on a Hilltop: The Participation of Jewish-American Immigrants Within the Israeli Settler Movement, 1967–1987” (2012). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Orit Bashkin, John Woods.

Ori Yehudai, “Forth from Zion: Jewish Emigration from Palestine and Israel, 1945-1960” (2013). Advisor: Bernard Wasserstein; Committee: Orit Bashkin, Tara Zahra.

Uri Shachar, “Dialogical Warfare: Figurations of Pious Belligerence Among Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Authors in the Crusading Near East” (2014). Advisor: David Nirenberg; Committee: James Robinson, Michael Sells.

Social Sciences, Political Science:

Shayna Zamkanei, The Politics of Justice for Arab Jews” (2015). Advisors: Robert Gooding-Williams, Orit Bashkin; Committee: Jennifer Pitts, Michael Geyer, Julie Cooper.