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2024 Divisions & Themes

Division Listservs

Questions? Email Mary Arnstein

DivisionDescription2023 Suggested ThemesChair(s)


This division is designed for those wishing to submit professional development or field-building proposals.


Mary ArnsteinHelen Kim

Bible and the History of Biblical Interpretation

Literature of the Bible; world of the Bible; early post-biblical literature (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls); reception of the Bible from antiquity to modern times; all areas of critical biblical scholarship and history of reception.

The Bible and History of Biblical Interpretation division invites proposals for sessions of all formats and for individual submissions that attend to the study of the Hebrew Bible and/or its interpretation and reception history. We welcome work engaging historical-critical as well as postmodern and interdisciplinary critical approaches, and seek to bring together scholars who work directly in Biblical Studies and specialists in other areas of Jewish Studies whose research interacts with the Bible in meaningful ways.

AJ Berkovitz & Yael Landman

Digital Humanities (Wildcard Division)

The division welcomes a range of session formats, including (1) panels highlighting traditional academic papers that share insights generated through DH means; (2) roundtables that allow practitioners to share methods and collaborate to address technical challenges; (3) mini-workshops (lightning rounds) that invite AJS members to learn new skills; (4) lightening sessions to show off finished/launched DH projects to spread knowledge in digital humanities initiatives as well as access to useful resources (for research and the classroom); and (5) pedagogy sessions sharing how instructors integrate DH into the classroom. Individual papers will also be accepted on any of these topics, and others.


Alison Joseph & Mark Kligman

Disability Studies (Pilot Division)

We welcome panels, roundtables, and individual papers that engage with all areas of Disability Studies. We seek submissions by scholars, activists, and artists involved in disability studies in all fields and periods, and we encourage multidisciplinary engagements. We invite presenters to explore the ways in which disability intersects with gender, race, sexuality, class, religion, and nationalism.

The Disability Studies Division welcomes proposals exploring real-life experiences of people living with disability, as well as written, visual, audio, and kinesthetic representation of disability.

Marco DiGiulio

Gender and Sexuality Studies

The division seeks panels and papers grounded in women’s studies, feminist studies, Queer and LGBTQ+ studies, and related fields.

Interdisciplinary panels are especially encouraged.

We are also interested in different modalities of presentation, including performances, as well as lightning sessions and round tables. Please reach out to us if you are thinking about new types of panels or are searching for panel participants and respondents.

Karolina Krasuska & Marjorie Lehman

Holocaust Studies

The Holocaust Studies division encourages panels and individual papers informed by a variety of approaches, including microhistorical, comparative and interdisciplinary ones.


Elizabeth Strauss & Amy Simon

Interdisciplinary, Theoretical, and New Approaches

This division welcomes proposals that cross geographical, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries; considers theoretical approaches; and new methodologies in Jewish Studies.


Stephen Stern

Israel Studies

Multi- and interdisciplinary studies of Israeli society, culture, and politics

The Israel Studies division welcomes innovative proposals on the histories, cultures, and societies of Israel or Israel/Palestine, including through local, comparative, or transnational perspectives.

Natan Aridan

Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity

This division examines the history and culture of the Jews and Judaism in the Persian, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine periods (from the sixth century BCE through seventh century CE). We invite scholars to think about the larger historiographic and cultural contexts in which we write and interpret the Jewish past.

We encourage proposals on any topic related to Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity.

Azzan Yadin-Israel

Jewish Languages and Linguistics from Antiquity to the Present

Linguistic, semiotic, or philological studies of Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish languages; language instruction in Hebrew, Yiddish, other Jewish languages

Modern Jewish languages (e.g., Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, Jewish Russian, and more) - documentation, endangerment, and revitalization; Jewish languages in historical perspective; Jewish languages in educational settings; Jewish languages and gender

Omri Asscher

Jewish Mysticism

Literature, history, and phenomenology of Jewish mysticism in all periods

We encourage proposals on any topic related to the study of Jewish mysticism.

Jeffrey Amshalem

Jewish Politics

This division welcomes proposals that explore how Jews have thought and acted politically, in various geographical spaces and in various eras from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. How has Judaism shaped, been shaped by, and challenged politics? What resources does Jewish studies have, as a field, for addressing the political?


Samuel Brody & Meirav Jones

Jews, Film, and the Arts

Representation of Judaism and Jews in visual art, film, media, music, theater, and dance; the role of the arts in Jewish history and civilization; Jewish cultural production

Jews, Film, and the Arts division invites submissions that are interdisciplinary in nature, located at the intersection of the study of the arts (visual arts, music, film, theater, dance, multi-modal productions, etc.) and Jewish studies. We welcome submissions of all types of sessions, but specific to this division, we encourage submissions of the Performance/Scholarship format. This new format includes the actual cultural producers—artists, filmmakers, performers—in an interaction with scholars studying their work.

Nathan Abrams

Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History, Literature, and Culture

We welcome proposals that focus on all aspects of Jewish history, literature, and culture in the medieval and early modern Christian and Islamicate world and their broader contexts.

We encourage proposals on Jews and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Early Modernity.

Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman & Francesca Bregoli

Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Jewish philosophy and thought, including science and medicine, in the medieval period


Mor Segev & Maud Kozodoy

Modern Hebrew Literature

Modern Hebrew literature and culture from the Haskalah to the present

We encourage submissions in any area of Hebrew literature and culture.

Mary Arnstein

Modern Jewish History in the Americas

This division seeks proposals that deal with aspects of Jewish life in the Americas

The Modern Jewish History in the Americas division invites panel and paper submissions that address the Jewish experience in the Americas - including, but not limited to historical topics and methods.

Jennifer Caplan & Laura Yares

Modern Jewish History in Europe, Asia, Israel, and Other Communities

The Modern Jewish History in Europe, Asia, Israel, and Other Communities division welcomes papers and panels that present case studies of individual Jewish communities in these regions, or that adopt comparative approaches to shed new light on methodological or theoretical themes.

Modern Jewish history in national, transnational, or comparative context.

Karen AuerbachLiora Halperin

Modern Jewish Literature and Culture

Interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to literature from the vantage point of contemporary Jewish culture. An emphasis on voices and media from the margins.

While open to any and all proposals on subjects relevant to the study of modern Jewish literature and culture, the division of Modern Jewish Literature and Culture solicits proposals that pertain to Jewish literature in the contemporary moment. Those who feel that they would benefit from discussion and/or assistance in forming collaborations on these topics prior to submitting a proposal are welcome to reach out to the division co-chairs, or Allison Schachter (

Allison Schachter & Sam Spinner

Modern Jewish Thought and Theology

Jewish philosophy and thought in modern times; modern Jewish religious movements

Modern Jewish thought as a subfield of Jewish Studies- how is it related to other sub fields like bible, rabbinical, history and anthropology (methodologies, regions, canons)

Robert Erlewine & Claire Sufrin

Pedagogy and Professional Practice

The Pedagogy and Professional Practice Division seeks proposals on issues or themes relevant to the theory and practice of teaching within Jewish Studies.

The division generates scholarly conversation about teaching in the classroom, curriculum development, and the study of teaching and learning.

The division generates scholarly conversation about teaching in the classroom, curriculum development, and the study of teaching and learning.

Our division welcomes proposals for sessions on pedagogical issues and practices such as teaching a particular text or subject; coping with antisemitism on campus or identity issues in Jewish studies; teaching volatile subjects such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or religious extremism; designing non-traditional classes involving service learning or travel; supporting student mental health; and dealing with new technologies such as social media.

Davida CharneyShira Klein

Rabbinic Literature and Culture

The Rabbinic Literature and Culture division seeks various types of submissions (papers, panels, method workshops (in pedagogy or research), roundtables, seminars) that foreground the texts produced by the rabbis who were active between the first and eighth centuries CE.

Text critical interpretation of local and global phenomena in one or several rabbinic works; methodological reflections; comparative study; reception history; rabbinics pedagogy; critical interventions from race studies, gender studies, animal studies, disability studies and other theoretical discourses; history of the book; historiography of the field; rabbinics and digital humanities.

Krista Dalton

Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies

The Sephardi-Mizrahi Studies Division welcomes proposals that explore all aspects of the histories, cultures, languages, politics, literary and intellectual creation, social formations, class dynamics, racial configurations, religious practices, arts and music, and diverse expressions of gender, sexuality, and disability among Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.


Aviad Moreno

Social Science

Social science approaches to global and transnational Jewish communities, including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, religious studies, sociolinguistics, communication and media studies, gender/sexuality studies, science and technology studies, political science, social psychology, with a special emphasis on ethnography.

We are especially interested in novel methodological and conceptual perspectives to the study of Jews, Judaism and Jewish life, including but not limited to comparative and transnational studies with understudied populations. We seek submissions that take qualitative deep-dives as well as quantitative gazes from 10,000 feet. Non-traditional panels, including seminars, lightning sessions, roundtables, are welcomed, in addition to conventional panels. Lightning sessions may be of interest to early career scholars or those in early stages of the research cycle, who may wish to tap in on feedback and conversation. Cross-division panels will be considered.

Matthew Boxer & Adina Bankier-Karp

Yiddish Studies

Yiddish studies; Yiddish literature and its history; Yiddish culture


Rebecca (Rivke) Margolis