I am a historian of Jewish culture, focusing especially on the medieval and early modern periods, and with a particular interest in Jewish communities in the Islamic world.
I completed my PhD in Jewish History and Museum Studies at the University of Minnesota in 2020. I also have an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Anthropology and Classics from Brandeis University (summa cum laude).
My first book, A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969 (Philadelphia: Print-o-Craft Press, 2019), collects 120 primary sources for the study of LGBTQ Jewish history, with introductions and extensive bibliography. It was awarded the 2020 Reference Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the 2020 Anthology Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation.
I am currently working on two academic projects:
- a monograph, based on my dissertation, of Jewish book culture in early modern North Africa. Examining the lifecycle of the book, from production (whether in manuscript or print) to distribution and circulation in reading communities, I highlight how studying the Jewish book as both a material and social object illuminates the encounter between the world of a text and the world of its readers.
- a study of a Hebrew dramatic novel, written by a Sephardi Ottoman scholar in 1874, after a trip across North Africa. The novel (in the form of a play) is a unique window into how the questions of Jewish modernity, including discussions of gender, secularism, education, Zionism, and more, were taken up in the framework of the Sephardi intellectual world.
My academic interests include Jewish art and material culture, manuscript illumination, early modern printing, magic and demonology, and museums and curation. For more on my published research, see here.
I am also a Hebrew calligrapher and book artist. To see examples of my work, go here.
I have taught courses on Jewish-Muslim relations, and global and Middle Eastern history, and I’ve lectured widely to academic and community audiences around the world. For more on my teaching, including upcoming events, see here.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.