Faculty


Norman Stillman
Norman Stillman
Faculty Website / Email
Program Director

Norman Stillman is the Judaic Studies Program Director and holder of the Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History. He is an internationally recognized authority on the history and culture of the Islamic world and Sephardi and Oriental Jewry. Prof. Stillman received his Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has published numerous articles in several languages. He is currently writing a book on the Jews of North Africa for University of California Press and is the executive editor of Brill’s forthcoming 5-volume Encyclopedia of Jews in the Muslim World and was for ten years the editor of the AJS Review, the journal of the Association for Jewish Studies.

 

Alan Levenson
Alan Levenson
Faculty Website / Email
Professor

Alan T. Levenson, holds the Schusterman Professorship of Jewish Intellectual and Religious History and has written extensively on the Jewish experience for both scholarly and popular audiences. He is the author of three books and many articles and is considered a leading authority on the modern Jewish experience. His book, Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism: Defenses of Jews and Judaism in Germany, 1871-1932 was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award Prize and his textbook Modern Jewish Thinkers(2nd edition) is widely used in classes on Jewish thought. He has won a number of prestigious fellowships, including an ACLS, and has lectured in the United States, Israel and Germany. He is currently at work on three major projects: a history of Bible translations/commentaries in the modern era, a congregational history of Brith Emeth synagogue (Cleveland), and, as General editor, the Blackwell Companion to Jewish History.

 

Shmuel Shepkaru
Shmuel Shepkaru
Faculty Website / Email
Associate Professor

Shmuel Shepkaru is Associate Professor of Judaic History and specializes in medieval European Jewry and Christianity. He received both his Ph.D. in Medieval Jewish History and his Master of Arts in Jewish History from New York University. His book, Jewish Martyrs in the Pagan and Christian Worlds was published by Cambridge University Press in 2005. He serves on the editorial board of the “AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies.” His classes at OU include Evolution of Martyrdom, Jewish Mysticism, Israeli Culture through Film, and the History of Heaven and Hell.

 

 

Ori Kritz
Ori Kritz
Email
Associate Professor

Ori Kritz is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Hebrew Literature in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures & Linguistics. She heads up the Hebrew Language component of the Judaic Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in Yiddish Literature from Columbia University, New York, where she also earned a Master of Philosophy. She is the author and co-author (with her father, Reuven Kritz) of several books, including Poetics of Anarchy published by Peter Lang. She not only teaches Intermediate and Advanced Hebrew at OU, but Hebrew Literature, Jewish Literature, and Jewish Humor classes as well. She is actively involved with OU Jewish student life through the Hillel Jewish Student Center, where she also teaches Israeli folk-dancing.

Carsten Schapkow
Carsten Schapkow
Faculty Website / Email
Associate Professor

Carsten Schapkow is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History who specializes in German-Jewish History and Modern Jewish Historiography. He received his Ph.D. from the Free University Berlin in 2000. He has published numerous articles, book chapters and book reviews. He is the author of [“The Freedom to Philosophize” — Jewish identity as Mirrored in the Reception of Baruch de Spinoza in German Literature]. His second book on which he is currently working will deal with the perception of Iberian-Sephardic Culture among German-speaking Jews in the 19th century. His classes at OU include Modern Jewish History, the Rebirth of Israel, Transformation of Jewish Communities from Tradition to Modernity, Jews and Other Germans, and the Holocaust.

Lea Reaches
Lea Reches
Email
Instructor

Lea Reches is an Instructor of Hebrew in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures & Linguistics. She earned her Master of Education at OU and taught Hebrew Literature in Israel for many years. Her classes at OU include all of the Beginning Hebrew sections.

 

 

 

Gershon Lewental
AICE/ Schusterman
Visiting Professor

Gershon Lewental is an AICE/ Schusterman visiting professor in Israel studies, teaching in both the OU Department of History and the College of International Studies. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Cornell University and received his doctorate in Middle Eastern history from Brandeis University in 2011, writing al-Qadisiyyah during the Arab-Muslim conquest of Iran and the changing perceptions of the engage- ment through time. His fields of expertise include Iranian history, early Islam, the Baha’i faith, and Israeli history, and he seeks in his scholar- ship to examine the interplay of memory, religion, and nationalism in identity.

 

 

Associated Faculty


Benjamin Alpers
Ben Alpers
Email
Honors College

Dr. Benjamin Alpers received his Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in 1994. He joined the faculty of the OU Honors College in 1998. His primary teaching and research interests concern twentieth-century American intellectual and cultural history, with special interests in political culture and film history, including Yiddish film. He is currently working on a book on Leo Strauss, Straussianism, and American academic and political life. He is also affliliated with OU’s History Department and Film and Video Studies Program. He has received grants from the American Philosophical Society and the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in support of his research. He is also completing a shorter project on anti-Nazism in the films of Frank Borzage.

Dr. Hester Baer, an associate professor in the German program of the Modern Languages Department, OU
Hester Baer

Faculty Website / Email
Modern Languages

Dr. Hester Baer, an associate professor in the German program of the Modern Languages Department, teaches courses in 20th and 21st century German literature, culture, and film, which stress the central role of the Nazi period and the Holocaust in understanding German cultural production over the last century. Her 2009 book, Dismantling the Dream Factory: Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language, examines the reconstruction of the German film in the aftermath of its thorough delegitimation under the Nazi regime. She is currently working on two new book projects, one on the history of the German war film, and a second entitled Producing German Cinema, which looks at a series of individual producers who changed the course of German film history, which special emphasis on the contributions of women and ethnic minorities.

Eve Bannet
English Dept.

 
Ray Canoy
Ray Canoy
Faculty Website / Email

History Department

Dr. Ray Canoy, an associate professor in the Department of History, is a scholar of recent German history who recently published The Discreet Charm of the Police State: The Landpolizei and the Transformation of Bavaria, 1945-1965, a study of a complex process in which the authoritarian culture of pre-Nazi Bavaria gave way to a less intrusive postwar police culture. He is now at work on two article-length studies, including one focusing on displaced persons and the proper treatment of the remains of Nazi victims. He has also begun researching a monograph on the history of the detective in modern German life. Professor Canoy offers a wide variety of courses on European and German history, including a course on the history of the Holocaust, an offering titled "Evil in Modern Europe". He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University.

 

David Chappell
History Department

 
Rangar Cline
History and Religious Studies
 
Luis Cortest
Luis Cortest
Faculty Website / Email
Spanish

Dr. Luis Cortest is Associate Professor of Spanish in the OU Department of Modern Languages and specializes in Spanish Medieval Literature. He was awarded the Ph. D. in Hispanic literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. His principal interests include: Spanish religious writers of the sixteenth century, Medieval Spanish literature and the history of Spanish thought. Professor Cortest is the editor of a collection of studies on the colonial Mexican writer, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1989), and a festschrift for José Duránd (1994). Professor Cortest has just finished preparing a critical edition of Moses Almosnino's Regimiento de la vida and has submitted it for publication.

Misha Klein
Misha Klein
Faculty Website / Email
Anthropology

Dr. Misha Klein is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. She received her doctoral degree from the University of California-Berkeley. She is currently working on a book based on her doctoral dissertation, “Braided Lives: On Being Jewish and Brazilian in São Paulo.” Her research interests include ethnicity, race and identity as well as the Jewish Diaspora. She specializes in Latin-American culture and teaches Anthropology of Jews and Jewishness, a course for the Judaic Studies Program.

 

Brent Landau
Religious Studies

 
Nina Livesey
Religious Studies

 
Henry McDonald
Henry McDonald
Faculty Website / Email
English Dept.

Dr. Henry McDonald is Associate Professor of American and Cultural Literacy in the OU Department of English. He received his Ph.D. in Theory, Media, and Cultural Studies from the Graduate Center, City University of New York in 1991. He is completing a book on Theory's Imaginary: Philosophical Tradition and Literary Studies Since the Sixties. Professor McDonald offers courses in 19th and 20th Century American literature, women's writing, modernism, and the American Renaissance. His interest in contemporary philosophy has led him to conduct research on Emmanuel Lévinas, on whom he has developed a Judaic Studies course.

 

Dr. Stephen Norwood is Professor of History in the Department of History.. OU
Stephen Norwood
Faculty Website / Email

History Department

Dr. Stephen Norwood is Professor of History in the Department of History. He teaches the History of Antisemitism for the Judaic Studies Program and is active in working with the OU President’s Office in bringing noted lecturers on Judaic topics to campus. Dr. Norwood is co-editor of The Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, ABC-CLIO. He is currently working on a book about the response of American universities to Nazism.

 

Karin Schutjer
Karin Schutjer
Faculty Website / Email
Modern Languages

Dr. Karin Schutjer whose specialty is 18th Century German Literature, joined the OU Department of Modern Languages in the fall of 1998. She received her Ph.D. in German from Princeton University. Her education also included university study in Berlin and Tübingen. Schutjer's research interests concern broadly the intersections of philosophy, literature and social thought in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Germany. Her current book project, Goethe’s Wanderers and the Wandering Jews: Identity, Idolatry, Modernity, addresses J.W. Goethe's complex and often contradictory relationship to Judaism. Schutjer is currently serving a three-year term as a "Director-at-Large" of the Goethe Society of North America. She teaches a wide range of courses including the advanced seminar "Goethe's Faust and the Problem of Evil," which fulfills the capstone requirement for the Judaic Studies major.

 

Dan Snell
Daniel Snell
Faculty Website / Email

History Department

Dr. Dan Snell is the L. J. Semrod Presidential Professor in the OU Department of History. Snell received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1975. He is an Assyriologist, Ancient Economic Historian, and Biblical Scholar who writes both technical articles and accessible works like his History Book Club selection, Life in the Ancient Near East, 3100-332 B.C., and his recently edited volume, A Companion to the Ancient Near East. He is currently at work on a tentatively titled study, Religions of the Ancient Near East that will cover the years from roughly 6000 BCE to 332 BCE. Professor Snell regularly teaches courses on the history of ancient Israel, a core course for the Judaic Studies major, and history of the ancient Near East.

 

Dinah Assouline Stillman, Instructor of French
Dinah Assouline Stillman
Faculty Website /Email
Modern Languages

Dinah Assouline Stillman, Instructor of French holds two "licences d'enseignement et de littérature"( BAs) from the Sorbonne in English and Hebrew and a Diplôme Supérieur in Modern Hebrew from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris (INALCO). She also received a Master's Degree in Hebrew Linguistics from the Sorbonne. She holds a CAPES in English from the French Ministry of Education and was part of a team that created educational CD-Roms in English for French students. In 2002, she received the DUDL (Diplôme Universitaire de Didactique des Langues) for teaching French as a Foreign Language from the Sorbonne (PARIS III). In addition to French, she has taught Hebrew at OU. She also is a Film and Video Studies faculty member. Her teaching and research interests also include song and popular culture.

 

Janet Ward
History Department
 
   
  Schusterman / Josey Program in Judaic and Israel Studies
  Tel: (405) 325-6508
Fax: (405) 325-6521

email: judaicstudies@ou.edu
University of Oklahoma
455 W. Lindsey, DAHT 403A
Norman, OK 73019