Eric Aronoff [Ph.D. English, Rutgers University] is Associate Professor of Literature and Culture in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. Eric’s research interests include nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature; anthropology, theories of culture, race, and nation, literature and the environment, and science fiction. His book, Composing Cultures: Modernism, American Literary Studies, and the Problem of Culture was published by University of Virginia Press in 2013. It traces debates over the idea of “culture” among artists, literary critics, and anthropologists during the early part of the twentieth century. Eric won a Teacher-Scholar Award in 2010–11 in recognition of his devotion to and skill in teaching, and has led the Nature, Culture, and Environmental Issues in a Green Israel study abroad program in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: C-220B Snyder Hall
Safoi Babana-Hampton [Ph.D. Modern French, U. of Maryland] is an Associate Professor who teaches Francophone literatures and cultures in French, Classics, and Romance Languages. She has published Réflexions littéraires sur l’espace public marocain dans l’uvre d’Abdellatif Laâbi (2008) on the literary work of Moroccan writer Abdellatif Laabi, founder of the New Moroccan literature and advocate of cultural renewal in the 1960s. Her interests include contemporary Judeo-Maghrebi literatures, Beur (Franco-Maghrebi) literature and the relations between Maghrebi literatures and the other arts. She is working on a new study about perceptions of citizenship in the literary and autobiographical narratives by Maghrebi and Franco-Maghrebi women writers, across class, culture, and religious differences.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-461 Wells Hall
Yuval Benziman is an Israel Institute and Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar who is a visiting professor of Israeli studies and conflict research. His main fields of research are track two negotiations, the “new war” characteristics and the representation of conflict in culture (mainly films) in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His recent publications in 2014 were in Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict; Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology; and Peace & Conflict Studies. He is currently writing two papers, on Israel’s society understanding of the war in Gaza of 2014 and on self-censorship of Israeli artists. Yuval is a visiting professor of the Israel Institute in MSU, and teaches in the Conflict Resolution Program of the Tel-Aviv University, and in the Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 317 South Case Hall
Steven Fraiberg [Ph.D., English/Concentration in Writing Studies, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] is an Assistant Professor in Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures where he teaches courses in composition, professional writing, and language and culture. In his research, he examines language and cultural shift in Israeli society as it transitions from the socialist ideals of the kibbutz to a capitalist system based on global high-tech industries. In his work, Dr. Fraiberg studies language practices in classrooms, communities, and start-up companies in Israeli society. He previously lived and worked in Israel for four years as a technical writer in the high-tech industry.
Christopher A. Frilingos
Christopher A. Frilingos [Ph.D., Religious Studies, U. North Carolina at Chapel Hill] is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. His primary research interests are early Christian history and literature, religious violence in the ancient Mediterranean world, and the interpretation of biblical texts. He regularly teaches the course Introduction to Biblical Literature, a survey of the history of Christianity up to the Reformations, and a seminar on the literature and history of early Christianity up to the reign of Constantine. He has won a Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. Spectacles of Empire: Monsters, Martyrs, and the Book of Revelation (2004) examined the relationship between the final book of the Christian New Testament and the performance of spectacles under the Roman Empire. He has recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion on Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian. He is working on a book-length study of childhood stories about Jesus in early Christian writings.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: C-729 Wells Hall
Assaf Gilad is Chief of the Division of Synthetic Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering at MSU. He has authored 66 peer reviewed scientific papers, co-authored 7 patents, and developed novel biosensors(genetically encoded reporters and nanoparticles) by combining cutting-edge molecular and synthetic biology tools with advanced biomedical imaging technologies. He received his Ph.D. in LifeSciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Before coming to MSU this year, he served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and the Institute for Cell Engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Gilad is enthusiastic about promoting research collaboration between MSU scholars, Israeli scholars and Israeli institutions, participating in and expanding study abroad opportunities in Israel, and joining our intellectual community.
Steven J. Gold [Ph.D. UC Berkeley] is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Sociology at MSU. His research interests include international migration, ethnic economies, ethnic community development, and qualitative field methods. Professor Gold is past Chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books including Refugee Communities: A Comparative Field Study (1992); From The Workers’ State to The Golden State (1995); Immigration Research for a New Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives with Rubén G. Rumbaut and Nancy Foner (2000); Ethnic Economies with Ivan Light (2000); and The Store in the Hood: A Century of Ethnic Business and Conflict (2010). Professor Gold’s The Israeli Diaspora (2002) won the Thomas & Znaniecki Award from the ASA’s International Migration Section in 2003. His The Routledge Handbook of International Migration Studies, co-edited with Stephanie Nawyn, was published in 2013. Professor Gold, with Rubén G. Rumbaut, is co-editor of “The New Americans” book series from LFB Academic Publishers, which includes over seventy volumes.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 316 Berkey Hall
Professor Matthew Handelman is Assistant Professor of German and affiliated faculty in the Jewish Studies Program at MSU. His research interests include German-Jewish literature and philosophy in the early twentieth century, the intersections of science, mathematics and culture in German-speaking countries, as well as the digital humanities and the history of technology. Matthew has published on these topics in international journals such The Leo Baeck Yearbook and the Journal of the Society for European-Jewish Literary Studies. Currently, he is working on two major projects. The first is a book manuscript that examines the philosophical and aesthetic application of mathematical thinking in the writings of Franz Rosenzweig and Siegfried Kracauer. The second is a collaborative digital project with scholars in Israel and Germany – together they are working to design and build a social edition of Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption.
Matthew received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in German literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. During his graduate work, he was a fellow of the Leo Baeck Institute Programm, the DAAD, and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar. He received his B.A. from Hamilton College with a dual major in mathematics and German literature.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: B-263 Wells Hall
Karrin Hanshew [Ph.D. History, University of Chicago] enjoys teaching in the broader field of modern European history with an emphasis on modern Germany and post-1945 memory and reconstruction. Karrin’s research interests in social movements, the politics of resistance and transnational alliances reflect her particular commitment to the field of contemporary history. Since coming to MSU, Karrin has taught HST 392 “History of the Holocaust” every spring as well as a number of 400-level seminars on Nazi Germany and postwar memory. Karrin’s first book, Terror and Democracy in West Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2012), investigated West German efforts to contain terrorism in the 1970s. Her current project brings together a number of different research strands—tourism, food, migration, international diplomacy, and politics of the right, left, and center—to reveal Italy’s particular importance for Germany’s moral and psychological re-founding as well as its political and economic reconstruction after World War Two and Nazism.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 331 Old Horticulture
Mary M. Juzwik [Ph.D. English, U. Wisconsin-Madison] is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy in the College of Education, where she teaches in writing, discourse, and English education. Her current work focuses on classroom discourse and English language arts instruction. In The Rhetoric of Teaching: Understanding the Dynamics of Holocaust Narratives in an English Classroom, Juzwik examines Holocaust pedagogy at the secondary level, focusing on teacher narratives about the Holocaust. These interests are rooted in six years teaching English language arts at the middle and high school levels.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 308 Erickson Hall
Neil Kane is the Director of the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program at Michigan State University. The Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program offers an academic minor in entrepreneurship and innovation to any undergraduate student in any major in any college. In 2017 he traveled to Israel with assistance from Yael Aronoff and Steve Fraiberg to explore Israeli startups and entrepreneurship, and to establish connections there for MSU student entrepreneurial internships and academic programs. Mr. Kane is the former Co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne National Laboratory and was Entrepreneur in Residence at both the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University. He contributes to Forbes Magazine on topics related to startups and leadership.
Michael D. Kaplowitz [Ph.D. Resource Development, MSU J.D., Duke University] is Professor of Environmental Law and Policy. Kaplowitz has published Property Rights, Economics, and the Environment and has published peer-reviewed articles on valuation of ecosystems, law and economics, wetlands, watershed management, and research methods in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Ecological Economics,Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, Landscape and Urban Planning, and elsewhere. His research is supported, in part, by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and others. Kaplowitz is building an integrated research and teaching program with colleagues in Israel that will provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for MSU students focused on environmental management and policy in Israel. This will tie together collaborative research of MSU and Keren Kayemet (JNF) and overseas study opportunities. Professor Kaplowitz developed the Green Israel summer program in Israel in summer 2008.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 331C Natural Resources
Serling Visiting Israel Scholar
Dr. Yael Katzir is an accomplished Israeli documentary filmmaker and former Head of the History Department and Lecturer in the Film Department of the Art School of Beit Berl Academic College. Her films include Company Jasmine, a movie about women in the Israeli Defense Forces; Praying In Her Own Voice, about the Women of the Wall in Jerusalem; Violins in Wartime, about life in Israel during the Lebanon War; and Shores of Light, about the displaced persons camps in Southern Italy. This fall, Professor Katzir will teach MC300: From Collective Identity to Personal Diversity: Israeli Documentary Film making, in James Madison College. This course is cross-listed with the English Department and the Film Studies Program.
Yore Kedem [Ph.D., Secondary and Continuing Education, University of Illinois] is Assistant Professor of Hebrew in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages. His primary research interests are experiential and aesthetic education, with emphasis on application in music, language, and study abroad. At Illinois he taught Modern Hebrew and courses on immigration, in addition to leading study abroad courses on immigration and cultural diversity in Israel. At MSU Dr. Kedem teaches Hebrew at all levels, emphasizing practical and applicable learning. He also offers an inquiry-based course on immigration as a global issue from local perspectives for the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: Wells Hall B-331
Kenneth Levine (Ph.D., Communication, Michigan State University, J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law) is a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Dr. Levine’s research concentrates on organizational communication, small group communication, leadership, and political communication. He also studies the impact of technology on organizations and the socialization of at-risk students. He is currently studying how the Yiddish language daily, Die Yiddishe Velt, contributed to the vital role of the immigrant press in the socialization and assimilation of newcomers to the United States.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 482 Communication Arts and Sciences
PHONE: (517) 432-1124
Benjamin Lorch teaches public affairs and political philosophy at James Madison College. He received his BA from St. John’s College and his PhD in political theory from Boston College. His research focuses on classical and medieval political thought, particularly on the relation between philosophy and religion, and he has published articles on Plato and Xenophon in peer-reviewed political science journals. Professor Lorch also conducts research in Jewish thought. He has delivered public lectures at MSU on Jewish political thinkers including Gershom Scholem and Maimonides, and most recently he published an article on Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, “Maimonides on Prophecy and the Moral Law” in Interpretation: a Journal of Political Philosophy.
Deborah J. Margolis (MLS Syracuse U., MA Hebrew College Boston) is Middle East Studies Bibliographer at the MSU Libraries. Deborah has worked with the Jewish Studies Program since 2010. Deborah contributes to the Jewish Studies Program by building library collections, organizing events, curating exhibits, teaching information literacy sessions, and providing research consultation. Deborah has curated library exhibits in collaboration with the Jewish Studies Program, including: Revealing the Entire World of the Stranger: Palestinian Israeli Writer Sayed Kashua (Fall 2014); Romaniote and Greek Jewry(Fall 2013); Israeli Literature from the Holtzman Collection (Spring 2013); with Kirsten Fermaglich: Telling Family Stories: Jews, Genealogy & History (Spring 2012); and the travelling exhibit Interpreting the Interior: Israeli Writer and Filmmaker Etgar Keret (Spring 2011).
CAMPUS ADDRESS: Main Library E-221
David Mendelsson [Ph.D. Hebrew University] is Director of Israel Studies at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, and lectures at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University where he teaches the history of the modern state of Israel and the changing nature of Israeli Jewish identity. His most recent publication is Jewish Education in England, 1944–1988: Between Integration and Separation. David was Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Southern California and at the Hebrew Union College–Los Angeles for 2010–2011. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Brandeis University and at Michigan State University, and teaches in the MSU Jewish Studies Summer Program at Hebrew University. David was born in London, England, and made Israel his home in 1980.
Noga Morag-Levine (Ph.D., Jurisprudence and Social Policy, University of California Berkeley, 1995; LL.B. cum laude Hebrew University, 1986) is Professor of Law and George Roumell Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University College of Law. Drawing on environmental law, legal history and comparative politics, her research examines the institutional origins of cross-national differences in environmental and social regulation. Her earlier work addressed these issues in reference to the history of Israeli environmental and abortion law and politics. The primary focus of her research currently is on the development of distinct American and European regulatory paradigms under the respective influence of the common law and continental civil law traditions. Professor Morag-Levine is the author of Chasing the Wind: Regulating Air Pollution in the Common Law State (Princeton University Press, 2003) as well as numerous articles and essays, including, most recently, “Facts, Formalism and the Brandeis Brief: The Origins of a Myth” (University of Illinois Law Review 2013) and “The History of Precaution,” (American Journal of Comparative Law). Prior to coming to MSU she was a Visiting Fellow at the Program of Law and Public in Princeton University, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, and Lady Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: Law College Bldg, Room 319
Matthew Pauly is a historian of Russia and Eastern Europe. Dr. Pauly’s first book, Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-34 (Forthcoming, University of Toronto Press, Fall 2014] The book concerns the political acculturation of the first generation of Soviet Ukrainian citizens through native-language schooling and pedagogical innovation in the 1920s and early 1930s and references issues of Yiddish-language instruction and Jewish identity in early Soviet Ukraine. His next book-length project is entitled “Raising ‘Nobody’s Children’: Juvenile Poverty, Crime, and Salvation in the City of Odessa, 1880-1940” and addresses, among other subjects of concern, children’s welfare societies for poor Jewish children and assistance to juvenile victims of the 1905 Odessa pogrom. He teaches the History of Modern Eastern Europe, the History of Imperial Russia, and methodological seminars on the History of Nationalism and National Identity and the History of Childhood in Modern Europe.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 247 OLD HORTICULTURE
Galit Pelled is Professor in the Department of BiomedicalEngineering, Department of Radiology, and Chief of the theNeuroengineering division of the Institute of Quantitative HealthSciences and Engineering. Her research program focuses on understanding how injury changes neuronal connections, how neuromodulation impacts these changes, and how these changes affect recovery. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Hebrew University. Before coming to MSU, she served as an Associate Professor of Radiology at the John Hopkins School of Medicine and Kennedy Kreiger Institute and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Pelled is enthusiastic about promoting research collaboration between MSU scholars, Israeli scholars and Israeli institutions, participating in and expanding study abroad opportunities in Israel, and joining our intellectual community.
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Benjamin Pollock [Ph.D., Jewish Thought, Hebrew University of Jerusalem] is a faculty member at Hebrew University whose primary research interests are Jewish philosophy, post-Kantian continental philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. Pollock teaches courses on Judaism and Jewish Thought, the philosophy of religion, and theories and methods in the study of religion. His Franz Rosenzweig and the Systematic Task of Philosophy (2009) received the Salo Baron Prize for outstanding first book in Jewish Studies and the Jordan Schnitzer Award for best book in Philosophy and Jewish Thought, 2009-2012. His Franz Rosenzweig’s Conversions: World Denial and World Redemption was published by Indiana University Press. Pollock led the MSU Jewish Studies Summer Study Abroad program in Jerusalem in 2011.
Stephen Rachman [Ph.D. American Studies, Yale] is Director of the American Studies Program and Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Literary Cognition Laboratory at Michigan State University. Dr. Rachman is the editor of The Hasheesh Eater by Fitz-Hugh Ludlow (Rutgers University Press). He is a co-author of the award-winning Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow (Oxford University Press) and the co-editor of The American Face of Edgar Allan Poe (Johns Hopkins University Press). He has written numerous articles on Poe, literature and medicine, cities, popular culture, and an award-winning website on Sunday school books for the Library of Congress American Memory Project. He is a past president of the Poe Studies Association and currently completing a study of Poe titled The Jingle Man: Edgar Allan Poe and the Problems of Culture. For many years, Dr. Rachman has taught ENG 344 “Jewish-American Literature” and directed honors theses on such notable authors as Emma Lazarus, Philip Roth, Abraham Cahan, Mike Gold, and Cynthia Ozick.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: C-610 Wells Hall
Lev Raphael (Ph.D., English, Michigan State University) is the author of 25 books in many genres: memoir, mystery, literary fiction, short fiction, advice for writers, essay collections, historical fiction, horror, psychology, biography, a teacher’s guide, and literary criticism. Raphael earned an MFA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize. His first book of short stories, Dancing on Tisha B’Av, won a Lambda Literary Award. Raphael has published hundreds of stories, essays, articles, and reviews in a wide range of newspapers, magazines, and journals—from Redbook to Reform Judaism. His short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in over two dozen anthologies in the US and England, and his writing is taught at colleges and universities in the US and Canada. He also blogs on books and cultural issues for The Huffington Post. Raphael is the resident book critic for WKAR, 90.5 FM, East Lansing’s NPR station. MSU’s Library collects his literary papers, and he teaches ENG 356: “Readings in Jewish Literature” and other courses in the English Department.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: C-646 Wells Hall
Dr. Gail Richmond is a Professor of Science & Urban Education in the Department of Teacher Education at MSU. She is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Teacher Education. Dr.Richmond traveled to Israel this year in support of a research exchange between doctoral students in STEM education fields at MSU and those at both the Weizmann and Technion Institutes. She has recently been named a Fulbright Senior Specialist, and hopes to use this as a vehicle to return to Israel to work on issues of pathways to STEM teacher certification, teacher induction and informal science education. Currently, Dr. Richmond is writing an NSF grant proposal in collaboration with a colleague from the Technion and the Kellogg Biological Station, and working to provide opportunities for collaboration and cultural exchange.
Yehotal Shapira (Ph.D., The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) is also a Fall 2016 Serling Visiting Israeli Scholar. Her research interests are architecture and the arts within cultural studies. She is our first Visiting Serling Israeli Scholar in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. This Fall, she will be teaching RCAH395 “The Mount and the City: Religion, Politics and Architecture in Jerusalem” at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. The course will examine the place of the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif in the complex, urban and multicultural Jerusalem environment. It will analyze the modern history and surrounding urban development of the Temple Mount and evaluate it as a focal point for conflict and contested perspectives.
Ronen Steinberg (Ph.D., History, The University of Chicago) is an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University. His primary areas of interest are the French Revolution, Modern European History, and mass violence. He has published articles and book chapters on the history of terrorism, transitional justice, and the aftermath of the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France. He has been a residential fellow at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan, and a Benjamin Franklin Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Most recently, a yearlong residential fellowship in the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin funded research on trauma and history. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled tentatively The Afterlives of the Terror: Dealing with the Legacies of Violence in Post-Revolutionary France. At Michigan State University he teaches regularly a course on the History and Theory of Genocide as well as a seminar on how societies deal with the legacies of massive violence.
CAMPUS ADDRESS: 350C OLD HORTICULTURE
Serling Visiting Israel Scholar
SERLING VISITING ISRAELI SCHOLAR 2017
Dr. Alon Tal is teaching at James Madison College for the fourth time. Professor Tal is the Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University and founded the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a graduate studies center in which students join Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to study common environmental challenges and solutions. He served as the co-chair of Israel’s Green Party. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Policy from Harvard University and a Law Degree from Hebrew University, and is the author of five books. This fall semester, Professor Tal will teach MC335: Israeli Politics, Cultures and Society and MC450: International Environmental Law in James Madison College.
His email address is email@example.com
Margot B. Valles
Margot B. Valles (Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Doctoral Minor in Jewish Studies, Indiana University) is an Assistant Professor in the department of English. She previously taught for the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Letters. Her dissertation, “Judaizing Romance and Romanticizing Judaization,” examines the way that medieval romances (including those about King Arthur) were adapted into Hebrew and Yiddish in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. She continues to explore the relationship between adaptation/translation and Jewishness in her teaching and research. Her courses include IAH 207: “Humor in 20th Century Jewish Literatures, Cultures, Identities” and ENG 356 Readings in Jewish Lit: “Jewish Masculinities.”
CAMPUS ADDRESS: Wells C-623
PHONE NUMBER: 517-355-9570
Emeritus Affiliated Faculty
Michael Koppisch is Professor Emeritus of French at Michigan State University. His scholarly work has centered on the literature of seventeenth-century France, especially the theater of Molière and the moraliste tradition. He is currently pursuing a longstanding interest in the history and literature of the Shoah in France.