Judaic Studies

Tenure-Track Faculty

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Jenny Ann Caplan

Assoc Professor, Judaic Studies

French Hall


I am a scholar of American religion and popular culture. I specialize in American Judaism and work extensively with film, television, internet media, humor, graphic novels, video games, board games, and other sites of pop culture engagement.
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Ari B Finkelstein

Associate Professor, Judaic Studies, Judaic Studies

3510 French Hall


Professor Finkelstein is a historian of Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. His main research focuses on the use and function of Jews and Judaism in the works of Christians and pagans in Late Antiquity. His current book project, provisionally titled “Emperor Julian and the Jews: the Use of Jews in the Making of a Pagan Empire”, based on his doctoral dissertation, examines how Emperor Julian (361-363) triangulates Jews with Christians and pagans in order to produce a pagan empire and to delegitimize Christianity. He has also written on Pseudo-Philo and Ezekiel the Tragedian. Other academic interests include Greco-Roman history, Greco-Roman thought and law, early Christianity, biblical reception, post-colonial studies, and semiotics.  He also has two law degrees from McGill University.
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Matthew A Kraus

Department Head, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Director of Hebrew Program, Judaic Studies

3428B French Hall


Professor Kraus studies the history of biblical interpretation and Judaism in Greek and Roman antiquity. Most recently, he is the author of Jewish, Christian, and Classical Exegetical Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Exodus:  Translation Technique and the Vulgate (Brill, 2017), "Rabbinic Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Numbers,” Journal of Biblical Literature, and "Wisdom of Solomon" for the Jewish Annotated Apocrypha (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).  Editor of How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World (2006 Gorgias Press), he has also published on Philo, the Gospel of John, and on the Old Latin version of the Bible. His courses include Women and the Bible, The Dead Sea Scrolls, History of Biblical Interpretation, Introduction to Judasim, Chanukah Through the Ages and Modern Hebrew.

Adjunct Faculty

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Dana Gregory Griffith

Annual Adjunct Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies

"Dr. G" has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from UC. He teaches "Understanding Religious Intolerance," "Suffering and Death," "Buddhism: History and Thought," "Intro. to the Study of Religions," and Yoga in its Hindu Matrix" in the Religious Studies Certificate Program, the Departments of Judaic Studies, English, and Asian Studies. His main interests are sacred and religious literature, Southeast Asian Religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, religious tolerance and intolerance, and Western/American manifestations of Hindu Yoga and Buddhism. In addition to his academic education, he is a practicing Buddhist and has received teachings from Zen Master Keido Fukushima Roshi, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Geshe Kuten Lama, Geshe Kunchok, Venenrable Jamyang Lama, and Zasep Tulku Rinpoche. 
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Michael S Porte

Professor Emeritus , Judaic Studies

Michael S. Porte specializes in communication, media, and film studies.  He has consulted with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Centers for Disease Control, GE, Proctor and Gamble, and Loews.  He currently teaches The Jew in American Film, Cinema Divinite:  Religion and the Bible in Film, Tai Chi, and Meditation.
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Alley Elizabeth Schottenstein

Asst Professor - Adj Ann, Judaic Studies



Affiliate Faculty

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Steven Joel Cahn

Professor of Music Theory, Judaic Studies

4225G Emery Hall


Professor Steven J. Cahn, PhD, is a music theorist and pianist whose research and specialized teaching areas include: 
  • Schoenberg Studies/Twentieth-Century Music Theory
  • Neuroscience/Psychology of Music
  • Aesthetics, Hermeneutics & Theories of History
  • History of Music Theory
  • Musical Form in the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • Cultural Studies & Jewish Music Studies

His work appears in collections—Cambridge Companion to Schoenberg, Schoenberg and Words, Schoenberg: Interpretationen seiner Werke—and journals—Musical QuarterlyJournal of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Opera Quarterly, Ostinato rigore. His collaborative research has been published in Cognitive Neuropsychology (DOI: 10.1080/02643294.2011.646972) and the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.24.1.6).

Cahn has received support from the Avenir Foundation, the Tangeman Sacred Music Center, the Dean’s Travel Fund, the National Institutes of Health — Lab for Integrative and Medical Biophysics, the National Endowment for the Humanities (Summer Stipend) and the University Research Council, Faculty Research Support Grant. He has presented papers at international conferences including Jewishness and the Arts (Rome, 2015), Schoenberg at 140 (Canterbury, UK, 2014), Hebrew University 2013, Symposia of the Arnold Schoenberg Center (Vienna, 2001, 2002) and the Third International Conference on Jewish Music (SOAS, London 2000). In the U.S., he has presented papers at the Getty Center, the Library of Congress and the National Institutes of Health. He has also presented research at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest and International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC8). 

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Cynthia A. Crane

Assoc Professor, Judaic Studies



International e-Profile: While a graduate student in the English department at U.C., I received a Fulbright research grant to Germany, 1994-1995. My experiences in Germany were invaluable and life-changing. My first book, Divided Lives: The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany resulted from my research grant in Germany. Dr. Norbert Finzsch served as my guide at The University of Hamburg (where I also attended literature courses) and a few German and American students, accompanied me on interviews. Additionally, I did research in the Hamburg State Archives for a short period of time. I also met with many luminaries and community leaders who assisted me. Because of the public interest in my book, I have been accorded the privilege to speak to and educate myriad groups inside and outside of the classroom in the U.S. and abroad on topics from my research. I have taken trips to Europe since my Fulbright. In January 2006, I gave a talk at The Imperial War Museum in London. There, I met many German students, professors, and teachers with whom I engaged in extensive and lively discussions; in particular, about subjects being taught in their German universities, and the university system in general. When approached to write a book in a series, I was somewhat reticent, but it was an honor and even a joy to write for young readers about Winston Churchill, and in 2025 the book will be re-released with a new design.
I had always hoped to return to Europe in a lectureship role one day, but would also like to teach some courses in European or Judaic Studies. I am currently working on another hybrid memoir-historical nonfiction book.
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Henry Fenichel

Emeritus Faculty, Judaic Studies


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Elizabeth B. Frierson

Associate Professor , Judaic Studies



Professor Frierson came to the study of the Middle East and North Africa after beginning to see the wide gap between reality in the Middle East and U.S. perceptions of the region in the early 1980's. She took her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Vermont and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. She has published several articles on late-Ottoman politics and society, co-edited with Camron Amin and Benjamin C. Fortna The Modern Middle East: A Sourcebook for History (Oxford University Press), and is finishing a manuscript entitled Patriarchal Feminism for Syracuse University Press. She has received several fellowships and awards for research, development of teaching materials, and acquisition of library materials for UC, including from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, and the American Research Institute in Turkey, and has been an invited speaker and workshop participant in the U.S., Turkey, Israel, and Europe, as well as a visiting fellow at Middle East Technical University (Ankara), Hacettepe University (Ankara), Cornell University, UCSB, Princeton University. Her Ph.D. students have been Carole Woodall and Lerna Ekmekcioglu of NYU, Julia Phillips Cohen of Stanford, Ufuk Adak and Ali el-Tarhuni at the University of Cincinnati, and Harry Bastermajian of the University of Chicago.  She has served on fellowship committees for the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Institute of Turkish Studies, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and served for two years as a mentor to the Mellon-funded Minority Access to Research Careers summer program at Princeton.  She speaks frequently to community groups and the media about the history of the Middle East and North Africa, and current events. Her current research focuses on refugee management in WWI, and the changes in science, personnel, and practices of pharmacology in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
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Michelle A Gibson

Professor Emerita, Judaic Studies

Michelle Gibson is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Women's Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Ohio University, where her areas of study were American Literature, Composition Research and Pedagogy, and Creative Writing. Her scholarship has continued in all three of these areas. Much of her work applies queer and postmodern identity theories to pedagogical practice and popular culture. She also continues to write and publish poetry. With Jonathan Alexander, she edits QP: Queer Poetry, an online poetry journal, and she and Alexander also edited a strain of JAC: Journal of Advanced Composition entitled "Queer Composition(s)". She co-edited (with Deborah Meem) Femme/ Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go and Lesbian Academic Couples. With Meem and Alexander she is writing Finding Out, an introductory textbook for use in introductory LGBT courses.
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Jennifer Glaser

Associate Professor and Head of Department, Judaic Studies



Jennifer Glaser received her B.A. in English from Columbia University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century American literature, comparative ethnicity, diasporic and transnational studies, Jewish studies, gender and sexuality, digital humanities, disability studies, and comics and the graphic novel. Her book, Borrowed Voices: Writing and Racial Ventriloquism in the Jewish American Imagination, is was published by Rutgers University Press in 2016. She publishes work on  race, Jewish studies, viusal culture and disability studies. She is currently finishing a scholarly book on Jews, disability, and modernity. In addition to her scholarly work, she writes essays, short fiction, and cultural criticism, and is working to expand one of her published narrative non-fiction pieces into a full-length manuscript on mourning and technology. She has published or has publications forthcoming in venues such as PMLA, MELUS, Safundi, American Literature, ImageText, Images, Prooftexts, Early American Literature, the LA Review of Books, the New York Times, the Faster Times, the Forward, the UK Telegraph, and an anthology of personal essays from Random House.
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Janine C Hartman

Professor of History,, Judaic Studies



Professor of

Dept Romance Languages and Literatures
College of Arts & Sciences
717D Old Chem Bldg
Ph 556-1596
My field is the history of ideas. Current research interests are Catulle Mendés,Parnassian poet and his role as  witness to the  Franco-Prussian war, the Commune  insurrection and fall  of Paris in 1871, as  refracted through "ruin studies." Additional fields include witchcraft, ritual in early modern society and symbolic sovereignty in French colonial history..
Affliiate: History,Judaic Studies, Women & Gender Studies
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Jason Kalman

Judaic Studies

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Mark A. Lause

Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies

Professor Lause grew up in a small blue collar community and worked his way through college during the 1960s and 70s.  His academic interests seemed to center naturally on the history of class and social movements in the United States.

Lause has done extensive work in nineteenth century labor and social history, including numerous articles in academic journals and reference material.  His initial work focused on early printers to discuss the origins of an American labor movement: “Some Degree of Power”: From Hired Hand to Union Craftsman in the Preindustrial American Printing Trades, 1778-1815. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1991) documented the first generation of unionists in that craft.

Lause’s subsequent work has sought new ways of examining and understanding the sectional crisis and the Civil War "from the bottom up."  He argued for the complexity of the Republican and Unionist coalition—before and after—in Young America: Land, Labor, and the Republican Community (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2005) on the antebellum land reform movement and The Civil War's Last Campaign: James B. Weaver, the Greenback-Labor Party & the Politics of Race & Section (Lanpham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001). His Race & Radicalism in the Union Army (Urbana IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009) explores the wartime collaboration of blacks, Indians and whites in the Transmississippi under the leadership of those abolitionists, land reformers, socialists and others who had been associated with John Brown before the Civil War. The Antebellum Political Crisis & the First American Bohemians (Kent, OH:  Kent State University Press, 2009) discusses the cultural impact of escalating sectional and electoral pressures on antebellum radicalism.  His Price's Lost Campaign: the 1864 Invasion of Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011) uses social and institutional history to cast light on the neglected Civil War expedition that largely closed the conflict west of the Mississippi River.  A Secret Society History of the Civil War (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011) examines the importance of several clandestine, fraternal traditions as a means of understanding how ordinary citizens, including African Americans, struggled to shape their history.  The reorganization of the U of Missouri Press delayed the appearance of his book on the last part of the 1864 Missouri campaign, The Collapse of Price's Raid: the Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri, but it should appear in the summer of 2015.  This will coincide with his Free Labor: the Civil War  & the Making of the American Working Class, the completion of a research project begun years earlier.  His book on spiritualism and the politis of the Civil War era is also due to appear.  Lause is also finishing a manuscript about the cowboy strikes of the 1880s.

In addition, Lause expects soon to submit The Last Republicans, a treatment of Giueseppe Garibaldi's republican internantional brigades in the Franco-Prussian War as the final gasp of an old ideal of republicanism.  He has also started a project on the related cantonal revolts of 1873-1874 in Spain. All of this is aiming at a general understanding of Reconstruction in the U.S. from a global perspective.
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Deborah T. Meem

Professor of WGSS, Judaic Studies


Deb Meem specializes in Victorian literature, LGBTQ studies, and 19th C. novels by women. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1971 with a double major in English and music, then after a decade away from the academy returned to graduate school in English at Stony Brook University, where she earned a Ph.D. in 1985. Her work has appeared in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Feminist Teacher, Studies in Popular Culture and elsewhere. She has edited four long-forgotten books by Victorian journalist, novelist, and antifeminist Eliza Lynn Linton: The Rebel of the Family (Broadview, 2002), Realities (Valancourt, 2010), The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland (Victorian Secrets, 2011, with Kate Holterhoff), and Sowing the Wind (Victorian Secrets, 2015, with Kate Holterhoff). With Michelle Gibson she has co-edited Femme/Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want To Go (2002) and Lesbian Academic Couples (2005), both published by Haworth Press. Her co-authored book Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies (with Michelle Gibson and Jonathan Alexander) was published by Sage Press in 2009; its second edition appeared in 2013, and the third edition is due in 2017. Deb served as Head of the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from 2008-15. When not in that position, she teaches Sexuality Studies in the Department of WGSS and occasionally literature in the English Department. She serves on UC’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and was also longtime co-chair of the LGBT faculty/staff Task Force at UC.
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Roger M Selya

Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies

Economic development of East Asia, population, medical geography
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Katherine E Sorrels

Associate Professor of History
Affiliate Faculty, Judaic Studies
, Judaic Studies



Personal Website

Katherine Sorrels is an Associate Professor of History, Affiliate Faculty in Judaic Studies, and Chair of the Taft Health Humanities Research Group at the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests are in modern European and North American history of medicine, disability, and the Jewish experience. She is also involved in a number of digital and public humanities projects. She teaches on the history of health and medicine, eugenics and Nazi medical abuses, scientific racism, and disability history, as well as several courses on the Holocaust, migration, and the refugee experience. 

Her current book project is On the Spectrum: Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability and Belonging in the Britain and North America. Her focus is on the Camphill movement, an international network of intentional communities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that was founded in Scotland during WWII by Austrian Jewish refugees. Through Camphill, she reconstructs the larger story of how Austrian refugees transformed British and North American approaches to disability after the Holocaust. Her research is based on archival work and oral histories in Austria, Britain, the United States, and Canada. She was interviewed on this project for two Botstiber Foundation podcasts, which can be found here: Episode 1Episode 2.

On the Spectrum extends work on antisemitism, scientific racism, and internationalism in 20th century Central and Eastern European Jewish history that she explored in her first book, Cosmopolitan Outsiders: Imperial Inclusion, National Exclusion, and the Pan-European Idea, 1900-1930 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). She has also published on Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jewry, Medical and Digital Humanities, and disability history and theory. This includes articles and two co-edited volumes: Disability in German-Speaking Europe: History, Memory, Culture (Camden House, 2022) and Ohio under COVID: Lessons from America's Heartland in Crisis (University of Michigan Press, 2023). Ohio under COVID is also avialable in an open-access, digital edition here: https://www.press.umich.edu//12396322

When Sorrels is not working, she is usually gardening, listening to gardening podcasts, reading gardening books, and watching gardening shows. Her enthusiasm sometimes outpaces her talent (there have been casualties) but she continues to dig in the dirt.

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Jay Twomey

Professor, Judaic Studies



Primary areas of interest include the (literary/theoretical/cultural/political) reception of biblical texts.  He is the author two books, The Pastoral Epistles Through the Centuries (2009) and 2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict (2013), and the co-editor of Borges and the Bible (2015).  His current work focuses on St. Paul in and around recent American cultural and political contexts.  He teaches courses on the Bible and literature, and the Bible in literary theory.
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Valerie A. Weinstein

Professor & Graduate Program Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Niehoff Professor of Film and Media Studies, Judaic Studies

3314 French Hall


Valerie Weinstein earned her PhD in German Studies with a concentration in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University in 2000. She came to UC in 2012 after having served on the faculty at Williams College, University of Nevada, Reno, and Tulane University. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, from Feminist Theory to Nazi Cinema. Prof. Weinstein is the author of Antisemitism in Film Comedy in Nazi Germany (Indiana University Press, 2019) and co-editor, with Barbara Hales and Mihaela Petrescu, of Continuity and Crisis in German Cinema 1928-1936  (Camden House, 2016) and, with Barbara Hales, of Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Cinema (Berghahn Books, 2021). Weinstein has authored refereed articles and book chapters on gender, sexuality, and Jewishness in German film between the two world wars, and on other topics ranging from early twentieth-century anthropological film footage to Turkish-German literature, to music videos by the heavy metal band Rammstein.
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Gary Weissman

Undergraduate Director of Film and Media Studies • School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies, Judaic Studies



Gary Weissman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literary studies (e.g., Ways of Reading Literature; Theories of Authorship; Theorizing the Short Story), film studies (e.g., Horror Films; History of Animation; Introduction to Film Theory), and critical theory (Introduction to Critical Theory; Narrative Theory). He is an associate professor of English, an associate professor in the School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies, and an affiliate faculty member of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of Fantasies of Witnessing: Postwar Efforts to Experience the Holocaust (Cornell University Press, 2004), which examines contestation between scholars, survivors, and filmmakers over which representations of the Holocaust get it "right"; and The Writer in the Well: On Misreading and Rewriting Literature (The Ohio State University Press, 2016), which examines literary interpretation as a collaborative, writing-based practice by exploring student responses to a single short story; and articles and book chapters on Holocaust scholarship, literature, film, and photography, as well as articles on literary analysis and pedagogy.
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Jeffrey Zalar

Associate Professor; Ruth J. & Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair of Catholic Studies; Affiliate Faculty Member, Department of Judaic Studies; Supporting Faculty Member, Ph.D. in Modern Jewish History & Culture, University of Cincinnati/Hebrew Union College-J, Judaic Studies



I am a historian of religion and intellectual culture in German-speaking lands from 1770-1914.  My publications address confessional relations, book and reading culture, Catholicism and science, popular religion, religion and nationalism, and other topics pertaining to religious belief and practice in modern Europe.  My 2019 book, Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914, published by Cambridge University Press, received the 2020 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Book Prize from The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP).  My current project is a study of Catholics and natural science in Germany from 1830-1914.

Emeriti Faculty

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Steven B. Bowman

Professor Emeritus, Judaic Studies



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Amanda Rose Hogeland

Business Manager A&S Staffing Unit 5, Judaic Studies

Crosley Tower


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Nicole Marie Kaffenberger

Program Manager, Judaic Studies

3428D French Hall