Rice University Program in Jewish Studies

Matthias Henze
Founding Director and Undergraduate Advisor
Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism
Professor of Religious Studies
Email: mhenze@rice.edu  


Dr. Henze's academic interests are broad, though the focus of his published work has been on the Jewish literature from around the turn of the Common Era, with an emphasis on early Jewish apocalyptic literature.  His most recent monograph, Jewish Apocalypticism in Late First Century Israel, is the first of two interrelated volumes he is writing on the Syriac Apocalypse of Barcuh, an early Jewish apocalypse.  The second volume will be a critical commentary on the same text, to appear in the Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature (CEJL) series.


DanielCohenG. Daniel Cohen
Associate Professor of History
Email: gdcohen@rice.edu


Dr. Cohen's areas of interest include modern France, modern Europe, and human rights and migration studies. He supervises graduate students working in the field of Modern European History, French History, human rights and internal law, as well as migration studies.


/uploadedImages/Faculty/IrishImage.jpgMaya Soifer Irish
Assistant Professor of History
Email: Maya.S.Irish@rice.edu  


Dr. Irish's areas of interest include Medieval Europe, Medieval Iberia, Kingdom of Castile in the High to Late Middle Ages, and Jewish-Christian relations.  She works on the history of interfaith relations in medieval Spain and the Mediterranean.  Her book Jews, Christians, and Royal Power in Medieval Castile, is the first half of a two-book project that will examine the evolution of Jewish-Christian relations in the kingdom of Castile during the High Middle Ages.  Her next project will build on the themes of the first book and examine the explosion of Christian hostility toward the Jews in late fourteenth-century Spain.


/uploadedImages/Faculty/Susan Lurie.jpgSusan Lurie
Associate Professor of English
Email: lurie@rice.edu  


Professor Lurie is the author of Unsettled Subjects: Restoring Feminist Politics to Poststructuralist Critique.  She has published articles on U.S. literature and culture, feminist theory, film theory, photography, and the dynamics between culture and politics.  Her current book project, 9/11 Cultures and Political Knowledge, explores the roles of literature, culture, law, and political theory in formulating relations between (inter)national security and political community in the wake of 9/11.


MichaelMaasMichael Maas
Professor of History and Classical Studies
Email: maas@rice.edu



Dr. Maas, Professor of History and Classical Studies at Rice, is Director of the B.A. Program in  Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations and an affiliate of the programs Medieval Studies, and Jewish Studies. His interests include ancient Greece and imperial Rome, emphasizing late antiquity and early Byzantium. During the AY 2014/2015 he will be a Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, D.C.




/uploadedImages/Faculty/Ogren(1).jpgBrian Ogren
Anna Smith Fine Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies
Email: brian.e.ogren@rice.edu  


Dr. Ogren is a specialist in early modern Jewish thought, with an emphasis on philosophy and kabbalah during the Italian Renaissance. His first monograph treats notions of reincarnation in Italian Renaissance Jewish thought. He is currently working on a book length project concerning ideas of cosmic cycles in early modern mystical texts. He has also contributed to a forthcoming compilation of Italian Renaissance kabbalistic texts, which will be published by the I Tatti Renaissance Library of Harvard University Press. Dr. Ogren’s work continually examines issues of center and periphery, as well as continuity and change, in regard to the Jewish philosophical and mystical traditions.


/uploadedImages/Faculty/Sanders Pic(1).jpgPaula Sanders
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor of History
Email: sanders@rice.edu  


Dr. Sanders' areas of interest include women in the Islamic world, classical Islamic culture, and The Crusades. In addition to Jewish Studies, Dr. Sanders is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and the Program in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations.


/uploadedImages/Faculty/YS-image(1).jpgYehuda Sharim
Aubrey '42 and Sylvia Farb Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies
Email: yehuda.sharim@rice.edu

Dr. Sharim's research chronicles the creation of a Sphardic-Mizarahi identity, uncovering ways that political and racial factors contributed to the identity's emergence. His upcoming book, tentatively titled The Struggle for Sephardic-Mizrahi Autonomy: Racial Identities in Palestine, 1918-1948, is concerned with interdisciplinary approaches to the question of race in Mandate Palestine. As a scholar trained in both cultural studies and Jewish studies, Dr. Sharim's main interest lies in exploring conversations between Jewish history, ethnic, and race studies. He teaches courses on Palestine-Israeli Relations, Race, Nation, and Diaspora, Politics of Representation, and issues in Israeli Culture.


/uploaded images/Faculty/Melissa WeiningerMelissa Weininger
Undergraduate Advisor
Lecturer in Modern Hebrew
Email: melissa.s.weininger@rice.edu

Dr. Weininger specializes in the study of modern Hebrew and Yiddish literature, with an emphasis on gender, nationalism, and ideology.  Her research includes work on Jesus in modern Jewish literature, gender and modernity, and nationalism in contemporary Israeli literature.  Her most recent publication is an article on A.A. Kabak's Hebrew novel about Jesus, The Narrow Path, and his development of an ethics of nationalism.  She is also working on a project on the role of gender and nation in modern Jewish literature and culture.


/uploadedImages/Faculty/Weissenberger.jpgKlaus Weissenberger
Professor of German Studies
Email: klausw@rice.edu  


Dr. Weissenberger's areas of interest include 19th and 20th century German and Austrian literature, poetry from Goethe to the present, non-fictional prose from antiquity to the present, and exile literature.  At present, Dr. Weissenberger is investigating the function of non-fictional prose genres in exile literature, which forced the authors to reevaluate their raison d'etre and express their existential challenge in a specific aesthetic. 


/uploadedImages/Faculty/wolfthal pic(1).jpgDiane Wolfthal
David and Caroline Minter Endowed Chair in the Humanities
Professor of Art History
Email: wolfthal@rice.edu  


Dr. Wolfthal specializes in late medieval and early modern European art. Her interests include feminist and gender studies, history of sexuality, the scientific study of art, and the intersection of money, values, and culture. She has published a book of sixteenth-century illustrated Yiddish book sfrom northern Italy, as well as several articles on Yiddish manuscripts. Her article, "Complicating Medieval Anti-Seminitism: Class Conflict in Images of Christian Violence Against Jews," is in press with Gesta, and is part of a book-length study on Christian images of Christian violence against Jews.