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; Professor of Bible, The Jewish Theological Seminary) Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Esther Menn, “Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in ancient Jewish exegesis: Studies in literary form and hermeneutics” (1995; Marilyn and Ralph Klein Chair of Old Testament Studies, Professor of Old Testament and Director of Advanced Studies, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago). 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; NEH Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Texas State University). 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; Associate Professor, Truman State University). 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; Professor of Religion, Florida State University). Advisor: John Collins.

Karina Hogan, “Theologies in Conflict in 4 Ezra: Wisdom Debate and Apocalyptic Solution” (2002; Associate Professor, Fordham University). 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; Faculty Member, Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota). 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; Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Pacific Lutheran University). Advisor: John Collins; Committee: Martin Riesebrodt, David Schloen.

Meira Kensky, “Trying Man, Trying God: The Divine Courtroom in Early Jewish and Christian Literature” (2009; Joseph E. McCabe Associate Professor of Religion, Coe College). 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; Assistant Professor of Religion, Wellesley College). Advisor: Michael Fishbane; Committee: Yairah Amit, Jeffrey Stackert.

Elizabeth Hopp-Peters, “Breaking pots, making metaphors: Symbolic action in the Book of Jeremiah” (2010; Instructor, McCormick Theological Seminary). 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; Bibliographer for Religion and Philosophy, Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago). 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; Professor of Literature and History, Co-Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, Director of the Institute for Humanities Research, UC Santa Cruz). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Elsie Stern, “From rebuke to consolation: Exegesis and theology in the liturgical anthology of the ninth of Av season” (1998; Associate Professor of Bible, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Charles Vehse, “Foundations of the Reform Movement in Hamburg: German Judaism in transition during the early 19th century” (1998; Adjunct Teacher, West Virginia University). Advisors: Michael Fishbane, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Natalie Dohrmann, “Law and narrative in the ‘Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael’: The problem of midrashic coherence” (1999; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Coeditor, the Jewish Quarterly Review; Associate Director, Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies). 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; Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Deborah Green, “Soothing odors: The transformation of scent in ancient Israelite and ancient Jewish literature” (2003; Judaic Studies Program Director, Greenberg Associate Professor, University of Oregon). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Laura Lieber, “‘Let me sing for my beloved’: Transformations of the Song of Songs in synagogal poetry” (2003; Associate Professor for the Department of Religion, Assistant Director of Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for Late Ancient Studies, Duke University). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Rebecca Schorsch, “The making of a legend: Louis Ginzberg’s ‘Legends of the Jews’.” (2003; Director of Jewish Studies, Chicagoland Jewish High School). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Jerome Copulsky, “Between exile and redemption: Political theology and the shaping of modern Jewish thought” (2004; Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Director of Judaic Studies at Goucher College). 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; Associate Professor, History of Judaism, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina-Greensboro). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Cass Fisher, “Claiming God: Theological predication and its limits in ‘Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael’ and ‘The Star of Redemption’” (2005; Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of South Florida). 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; Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and Comparative Religion, Department of Religion, Cornell College, Iowa). 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; Assistant Professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew College, Boston). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Benjamin Sax, “Language and Jewish renewal: Franz Rosenzweig’s hermeneutic of citation” (2008; Jewish Scholar, The Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, Baltimore). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Michael Fishbane, James Robinson.

Elliot Cosgrove, “Teyku: The insoluble contradictions in the life and thought of Louis Jacobs” (2008; Rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue, New York). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Hillel Gray, “Foreign features in Jewish law: How Christian and secular moral discourses permeate halakhah” (2009; Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, Miami University, Ohio). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

Sarah Imhoff, “Making Jewish gender: Religion, race, sexuality, and American Jews, 1910-1924” (2010; Assistant Professor, Religious Studies and Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University). 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; Roman Catholic Scholar at The Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, Baltimore). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Clark Gilpin, James Robinson.

Dov Weiss, “Confrontational Theology in Post-Classical Rabbinic Literature” (2011; Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). 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; Senior Lecturer of Hebrew and Aramaic Languages and Literatures, University of Vienna). 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; Assistant Professor, The University of Kansas). 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; Lecturer, George Washington University). 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; Lecturer, NYU London). 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; Chief Speech Writer for the President of Israel, Ephraim Rivlin). 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; Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia). 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; Visiting Assistant Professor, Skidmore College). 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; University of Michigan, Society of Fellows Post-Doc). 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; Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature, The University of Chicago, The Divinity School). 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; Assistant Professor, Williams College). 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; Assistant Professor of Religion, Centenary College of Louisiana). Advisor: Michael Fishbane.

David Lee Simmons, “Poetry, Religion, and History: Johann Gottfried Herder on Genesis 1–11” (2011; Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater). 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; Assistant Professor of Religion, Whitman College). 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; Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and European Studies, Vanderbilt University). Advisors: Michael Geyer, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

Andrew Sloin, “Pale fire: Jews in revolutionary Belorussia, 1917-1929” (2009; Assistant Professor of History, Baruch College). Advisors: Leora Auslander, Sheila Fitzpatrick.

Mari Rethelyi, “German Jews as Hungarian nationalists and the emergence of Oriental Studies” (2009; Assistant Professor of Religion, Queens University, Canada). 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; Anna Smith Fine Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Rice University). 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; Scholion Postdoc Fellowship, Mandel Institute, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem). Advisor: Paul Mendes-Flohr; Committee: Eric Santner.

Igor De Souza, “Philosophical Commentaries on the Preface to the Guide of the Perplexed, 1250-1360” (2014; Post-Doc Fellow, McGill University). 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; Pardes Institute, Haifa University). 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; Assistant Professor of Instruction, Northwestern University). 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; Faculty of Music, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge). 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; Assistant Professor, Department of Music, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). 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; Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Bethel Colleg). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Stuart Creason, “Semantic classes of Hebrew verbs: A study of Aktionsart in the Hebrew verbal system” (1995; Lecturer in Aramaic, The University of Chicago). 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; Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew, Yale Divinity School). 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; Associate Professor of Jewish History and Dean, Jack Skirball Campus, Hebrew Union College). Advisor: Norman Golb.

Blane Conklin, “Oath Formulae in Classical Hebrew and Other Semitic Languages” (2005; Senior Software Developer/Analyst at University of Texas at Austin). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

Israel Sandman, “The ‘Meshobeb Netibot’ of Samuel Ibn Matut (‘Motot’): Introductory excursus, critical edition, and annotated translation” (2006; Research Associate, Dept. of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College, London). 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; Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago). 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; Associate Professor in Old Testament, Reformed Graduate University in Seoul). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Theo Van den Hout, David Schloem, Jeffrey Stackert.

John David Walton Burnight, “Reversal and Response in Job 3-5” (2011; Assistant Professor of Philosophy and World Religions, University of Northern Iowa). Advisor: Dennis Pardee: Committee: Norman Golb, David Schloen.

Joseph Ching Po Lam, “The Metaphorical Patterning of the Sin-Concept in Biblical Hebrew” (2012; Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Walter Farber, Josef Stern, Yairah Amit.

Eve Krakowski, “Female adolescence in the Cairo Geniza documents” (2012; Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University). Advisor: Norman Golb; Committee: Fred Donner, Marina Rustow.

Humphrey (Chip) Hardy, “Diachronic Development in Biblical Hebrew Particles: A Case Study in Grammaticalization” (2014; Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: Rebecca Hasselbach, Salikoko Mufwene.

Benjamin David Thomas, “Hezekiah and the Compositional History of the Book of Kings” (2013; Research Project Professional, Persepolis Fortification Archive Digital Imaging Lab, The University of Chicago). 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; Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder). Advisor: Dennis Pardee, Jeffrey Stackert; Committee: Rebecca Hasselbach, Lenore Grenoble.

David M. Calabro, “Ritual gestures of lifting, extending, and clasping the hand(s) in Northwest Semitic literature and iconography” (2014; Associate Editor for Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, Neal A. Maxwell Institute). 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; Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University). Advisor: Dennis Pardee; Committee: David Schloem, Jeffrey Stackert, Ronnie Goldstein.

Matthew McAffee, “Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical, Literary, and Comparative Analysis” (2015; Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages, Welch College). Advisor: Dennis Pardee.

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

Humanities, Slavic Languages and Literatures:

Karen Christine Underhill, “Bruno Schulz and Jewish Modernity” (2011; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois at Chicago). Advisors: Bozena Shellcross; Readers: 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; Director of Spiritual Development, Yeshivat Maharat). Advisors: Paul Mendes-Flohr and David Nirenberg; Reader: Gershon Greenberg.

Social Sciences, Department of History:

Daniel Greene, “The crisis of Jewish freedom: The Menorah Association and American pluralism, 1906-1934” (2004; Director of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture at the Newberry Library). 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; Assistant Professor, Santa Barbara City College). Advisors: Paul Mendes-Flohr, Salim Yaqub; Readers: 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; University Research Lecturer, Sidney Brichto Fellow in Israel Studies, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies). 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; Assistant Professor, Department of History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev). 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.