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Historian selected as Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies Fellow

History Professor Miriam Bodian has been appointed as a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for the academic year 2011-12.

Posted: February 1, 2011
Miriam Bodian, Burton Memorial Tower in background at University of Michigan

Miriam Bodian, Burton Memorial Tower in background at University of Michigan

The Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies selects fellows on an annual basis from scholars and artists worldwide. A research theme is determined for each year and the outside scholars contribute to the ongoing intellectual community by presenting their research and interacting with other faculty members and students.

Professor Bodian's research will be on “the discourse of freedom of conscience among seventeenth-century Sephardic Jews in the Atlantic orbit.”

Bodian has taught courses on Jewish Martyrdom; The Church and the Jews; The Spanish Inquisition; The Roots of Religious Toleration; and Early Modern, Medieval, and Modern Jewish History. Her research interests are Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, post-expulsion Sephardic Jewry, and Jews and the Reformation.

The Frankel Institute was established in 2005 through a major financial gift from the Jean and Samuel Frankel Jewish Heritage Foundation. It is located on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus and is the only institute of its kind at a public university in the United States.

It is dedicated “to interdisciplinary, multilingual work spanning ancient times through the contemporary era. By combining intellectual autonomy with the ideal of a scholarly community, it aims to offer global leadership in Jewish Studies,” according to its website.

It offers two to three public colloquia a month during the fall and spring semesters. Upcoming colloquia deal with the theme of "Jewish Languages," with presenters from such institutions as Tel Aviv University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Oregon, University of Chicago as well as from the University of Michigan.

Bodian has taught at the Graduate School for Jewish Studies at Touro College in New York, Columbia University, Penn State University, and the University of Michigan. She received both her master’s and doctor's degrees from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and her undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

She is a core faculty member at The University of Texas’s (UT) Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies (SCJS). The SCJS provides a multidisciplinary Jewish Studies curriculum for students at UT.

Her book Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam (Indiana University Press, 1997) won the 1998 National Jewish Book Award in history and the first annual Koret Jewish Book Award in history. In her book Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in the Iberian World (Indiana University Press, 2007), she analyzed the careers of defiant judaizers tried by the Inquisition.

Related Links:

Professor Mirian Bodian
Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies
Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies

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