Faculty

Ahmad Agbaria
Lecturer, Middle Eastern Studies/Hebrew
PhD UT Austin, History

Ahmad Agbaria studies the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, focusing on the five wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In particular he focuses on the intellectual and cultural landscapes in the Arab world after the 1967 war. To gauge the impact of wars on the public imagination of the Arab and Israeli societies, Dr. Agbaria studies the varying modes of publications in Arabic, publishing houses, and book market. He currently teaches Hebrew and other course on the formation of Nation States in the Middle East.  

Karen Grumberg
Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Studies/Hebrew Literature
Israel Studies Faculty Coordinator 
PhD UCLA, Comparative Literature

Karen Grumberg has taught in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin since 2004. She works primarily on modern Hebrew literature in comparative contexts. Most recently, she has completed her second book, Hebrew Gothic: History and the Poetics of Persecution (Indiana UP, 2019), a study of how modern Hebrew literary texts in dialogue with the British and American gothic tradition reorient the Jewish conceptualization of the past. Her first book, Place and Ideology in Contemporary Hebrew Literature (Syracuse UP, 2011), considers the way seemingly apolitical ordinary places invite, sustain, or subvert ideological paradigms. Her recent publications consider translation culture in the Yishuv and beyond and a comparative essay on Sayed Kashua and Philip Roth. She is currently working on an article on the politics of translations of Edgar Allan Poe to Hebrew from the early twentieth century to the present; a comparison of the Hebrew modernist Uri Nissan Gnessin and the Norwegian modernist Sigbjørn Obstfelder; and an article on Amos Oz and the short story. At UT, she has taught classes on Hebrew literature; on Jewish literatures in comparative perspective (France, Israel, the US); on writing in-betweenness (Arab Jews and Israeli Palestinians); and more.

Jason Lustig
Israel Institute Teaching Fellow and Lecturer, History
PhD UCLA, History

Jason Lustig is joining the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies as a Lecturer and Israel Institute Teaching Fellow. Dr. Lustig's research focuses on the development of Jewish archives in Germany, the United States, and Israel/Palestine in the course of the twentieth century, and the struggles over who can claim to "own" Jewish history, which is the topic of book manuscript, A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture. Previously, Dr. Lustig has been a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies and a Gerald Westheimer Early Career Fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute, and his research has appeared in The Journal of Contemporary History and American Jewish History, and is forthcoming in History of the Human Sciences and Shofar. He is also the creator and host of the Jewish History Matters podcast. The program, which comes out every two weeks during the academic year, features conversations with leading scholars about their research and why it matters in a broad social, intellectual, and political context. You can find it online at www.jewishhistory.fm or on wherever you listen to podcasts.

 At UT, Dr. Lustig will be teaching a range of classes that deal with the history and cultures of Israel and Palestine, the history of archives and cultural property, and Jewish history. In Fall 2019, he'll be teaching two courses: The first class, "History of Modern Israel and Palestine," will be an introduction to the intersecting histories of Palestine and the land of Israel, the Zionist movement, Palestinian and Arab nationalism, modern Jewish history, and the history of Israel's state and cultures. In the course, we'll consider how one land has so many histories and all those who live there have an intertwined destiny. The second course, "Adventures in the Archive: History, Memory, and the Modern Information Society," will be a seminar that explores the history of archives and how data became the engines of political and economic power. In class discussions and also hands-on work at the Harry Ransom Center, students will explore archives as sites of public history and memory, and as a concept for comprehending the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century information society. In the Spring semester he will also be teaching classes on Jewish nationalism and looted cultural property.
 
Anat Maimon
Lecturer, Middle Eastern Studies/Hebrew

Anat Maimon is a native of Israel. She taught Hebrew for 11 years at the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona, and was the Coordinator of the Hebrew Program there for the more than seven years. Anat received her academic education from Tel-Aviv University in Hebrew Literature and Grammar and has taught Hebrew as a Second Language for over twenty five years. Since the Fall semester of 2015, Anat has been teaching at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Austin in Texas. In addition to teaching Hebrew languages courses for Beginners (HEB 601C) and Advanced (HEB 611C) level learners, Anat teaches content courses about Israeli society and culture:

- HEB 346 - “Innovation and Technology in Israel’, surveys all the technological advancements to emerge from Israel in the past 15 – 20 years

- HEB 320 - “Hebrew through the Media” surveys current Israeli culture through a review of multiple media outlets such as television, new magazines, music, and more

Esther Raizen
Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Studies/Hebrew
PhD 1987 UT Austin, Foreign Language Education

Esther Raizen is completing her last year of service as Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Liberal Arts, and will return to the Hebrew classroom in 2020. Former Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and President of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH), Dr. Raizen works on the boundary between history, literature, and applied linguistics. She is the author of three Hebrew language textbooks (Modern Hebrew for Beginners; Modern Hebrew for Intermediate Students; and Yours Truly), and a frequent contributor to the pedagogy journal of NAPH, Hebrew Higher Education. Her recent articles study women engaged in clandestine activities during World War II - Zosha Poznanska, Ruth Klüger-Aliav, and Ada Sereni - and the women who wrote their life stories in Israel, the US, and Italy--Yehudit Kafri, Peggy Mann, and Clara Sereni. In earlier articles she studied the work of Israeli authors Abba Kovner, Raya Harnik, Ayin Hillel, and Eliezer Smoli, focusing on environmental concerns, war, and bereavement in Israeli Literature, work that followed the publication of her bilingual anthology of Israeli war poetry, No Rattling of Sabers: Israeli War Poetry 1940-1990 (1996).

Recent publications:

Esther Raizen, 2018. “Cementing Strategies in Yehudit Kafri’s Zosha: From the Jezreel Valley to the Red Orchestra.”Hebrew Studies 59 (2018), pp. 335-358.

Esther Raizen, 2017. “Last Road to Safety: The Making of a Holocaust Picture Book.”  The Lion and the Unicorn 41:1 (January 2017), pp. 28-60. 

Esther Raizen, 2016. “Jewish Identity and the Female Storyteller in Clara Sereni's Il gioco dei regni” Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 30 (Spring–Fall 2016), pp. 74-97.

Amy Weinreb
Senior Lecturer, Jewish Studies and Anthropology
PhD University of Pennsylvania, Cultural Anthropology

Amy Weinreb is a cultural anthropologist and Senior Lecturer in the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies with teaching and research interests in both Israel and Latin America. Most recently, her writing has focused on space and emotion in Israel’s development towns in publications including “Rebranding Desolation: The Allure of Israel’s Desert Landscapes,” (Israel Studies Review, 2018) an article on “Jewish time-geography” and pedestrian movement in Mitzpe Ramon, and an exploration of the meaning of brutalist architecture in Israel’s remote desert settings. Her current  book manuscript is tentatively entitledInscribing the Desert: An Ethnography of Landscape in a Small Negev Town. Dr. Weinreb teaches "Multicultural Israel," "Israel: Space, Place, Landscape,” and “Introduction to Jewish Studies” a new gateway course which features units on Israel. She will offer ”Cultural Geographies of Israel” in Fall 2019.