Steering Committee

The Jewish Studies steering committee assists the program coordinator and the Jewish Studies faculty by overseeing the Jewish Studies program, engaging in long-term planning, and participating in the grants process for student and faculty/staff grants. Members of the steering committee teach in several departments of the College and offer a variety of perspectives on Jewish Studies.

Rebecca Lesses, Coordinator and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, teaches core and upper-level courses for the Jewish Studies minor. Her courses include "Gender and Sexuality in Judaism" and "Jewish Mysticism." Her research centers on early Jewish mystical and magical texts and the interplay between them. She is currently working on a book entitled Angels' Tongues and Witches' Curses: Women and Ritual Power in Early Judaism. The book focuses on Jewish women's involvement in visionary mysticism and ritual practices to gain power.

Don Beachler teaches in the Department of Politics. His courses include two in the area of Jewish Studies, "The Holocaust," and "Political Implications of the Holocaust." The second course, a Politics seminar, explores political and ethical issues raised by some of the debates in the vast academic and popular literature on the Holocaust.

Stephen Clancy teaches in the Art History Department, and has developed a course in Jewish Studies entitled "Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Spain." This 300-level course explores the rich artistic and architectural interactions between Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures at a time when flourishing Jewish communities lived under both Islamic and Christian rulers, resulting in a unique mixture of visual traditions in Jewish cultural production.

During the spring 2010 semester Prof. Clancy will be a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University's Research School of Humanities, pursuing a project entitled "Visualizing the Self and Others: Muslins, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia," which will explore the specific ways in which Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures visualized and rationalized their relations with others, with a particular focus on the intersection between resistance and appropriation in medieval Iberian visual culture.

Annette Levine teaches Spanish and Latin American Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Her research focuses on cultural production (literature, film, art, monuments, music, and theatre) in the aftermath of dictatorships in Latin America. She teaches courses in Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, and the Spanish language. 

Prof. Levine devoted her Master's research to the Jewish community of Buenos Aires in the aftermath of the AMIA bombing. She is an active member of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association and has published several articles devoted to Latin American Jewish authors in the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies and, most recently, the Hostos Review. Her forthcoming book, "Cry for Me, Argentina: The Performance of Trauma in the Short Narrative of Aída Bortnik, Griselda Gambaro, and Tununa Mercado" (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press), grapples with literary and cultural manifestations of the Argentine Dirty War’s haunting repercussions.

Michael Richardson teaches German Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. He teaches a course on German-Jewish identity ("Germans, Jews, German-Jews") and is developing a course on representations of the Holocaust in film and literature. His work to date has focused on German political theater as well as contemporary German cinema.  He is co-editor of the recently published volume of essays entitled "Visualizing the Holocaust: Documents, Aesthetics and Memory" and is also co-editing a volume entitled "A New History of German Cinema." He is also working on a study of representations of Hitler in American popular culture.


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