PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 1996
Areas of Specialization
Holocaust Studies, Religion and Violence, Jewish Studies, Visual and Material Culture
Courses Taught in MAGA
RLG 5149: Religion, Violence,and Conflict
My main area of interest is Holocaust Studies, and more generally Jewish Cultural Studies, with a special emphasis on the contemporary period and all aspects of present-day Jewish life and thought. My ongoing current research concerns Holocaust memory and representation: I’ve published two books on this topic: Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003), which addresses the roles the contemporary media and modes of cultural mediation play in shaping consciousness of the legacy of the Holocaust, especially in the form of its institutionalized memory, and Holocaust Icons: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory (Rutgers University Press, 2015), which deals with the historical and memorial contexts of several fundamental images and ideas associated with the Holocaust. For this project I was on leave from January through August 2004 as a fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Other ongoing research interests include Hasidism and South African Judaism, the latter growing out of my experiences living and teaching in Cape Town for three years from 1996-98. I also have an interest in Religion and Violence, and in 2006 I published a co-edited collection of essays on Religion, Violence, Memory, and Place (Indiana University Press). I have published academic journal articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Prooftexts, Jewish Social Studies, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and chapters in a number of edited collections. While I am responsible for teaching classes in all areas of Jewish Studies from the rabbinic period onwards, my current teaching leans toward the modern period: current courses include The Holocaust, Holocaust Memorials, Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Cinema, Jewish Mysticism, Judaism, Introduction to Jewish Cultures, Jews, Sex, and Gender, and, more generally, courses such as Violence and the Sacred and World Religions. I have taught in the greater Miami community as well, with lectures and adult education courses at local synagogues and at the Miami Art Museum. I also direct the Jewish Studies Certificate, and I am Director of the FIU Holocaust Studies Initiative, which sponsors lectures and funds the creation of online courses. I served as Graduate Program Director in the department of Religious Studies from 2007-2016.