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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, though I primarily write about late 19th through 21st-century Jewish, multiethnic, American, and women’s literature and culture. I recently published a monograph entitled Women of Valor: Orthodox Jewish Troll Fighters, Crime Writers, and Rock Stars in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2018), which was awarded Honourable Mention for the Robert K. Martin/Canadian Association for American Studies Book Prize. The book examines representations of and an emergent literature by Orthodox Jewish women. An excerpt was used as the cover story for the 8 August edition of The Canadian Jewish News.

My monograph led to further work on the art and feminism of Orthodox Jewish and Haredi women. In 2020, I co-edited a special issue of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies on the subject with Dr Rachel Harris of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Our introduction is open access and can be read here.

My essays have appeared in a number of journals, including Legacy, MELUS, Open Library of Humanities, American Studies, Canadian Review of American Studies, and Shofar. I am interested in the figure of the New Woman in Progressive Era fiction. For my article on New Woman suffragist writer Miriam Michelson, entitled, “Miriam Michelson’s Yellow Journalism and the Multi-Ethnic West,” written with Dr Lori Harrison-Kahan of Boston College, I won the 2016 Don D. Walker Prize for Best Essay in western American Literary Studies. 

In 2012, I published a critical edition of the 1916 novel, Marion: The Story of an Artist’s Model (McGill-Queen’s University Press), by the first Asian North American novelist, Winnifred Eaton (Onoto Watanna), and I have also produced an online collection of Eaton’s Western oeuvre for the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. I advise on and contribute to the Winnifred Eaton Archive, launched in 2020 by Professor Mary Chapman of the University of British Columbia.

My new research examines the productive interface between contemporary Muslim and Jewish women’s lives, literature, and activism. With Birmingham novelist and Britain's Muslim Woman of the year 2019 Abda Khan, I chair the Nisa-Nashim Jewish-Muslim Women’s Network West Midlands Book Group.

My service to the field includes reviewing for a number of journals and McGill-Queen's University Press. I also sit on the editorial board of Shofar and am on the Hadassah Brandeis Research Awards Academic Advisory Committee. I was the media and membership chair of The Society for the Study of Multiethnic Literature of the United States (2012-2015), and am on the board of the Association for Jewish Studies’ Women’s Caucus. I served as a panelist for the Canadian Review of American Studies' Ernest Redekop Essay Prize in 2017, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award in 2018 and 2019, and the Association for Jewish Studies Women’s Caucus Award for Innovative Scholarship in 2019. In addition to my regular contributions to conferences and research seminar series, I was the keynote speaker for the conference "Naomi Alderman: Empty Spaces, Untold Stories," held at Bath Spa University in 2019, as well as for the "Conversion and Narrative Expert Meeting for Beyond Religion vs Emancipation: Women's Conversion to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Project," held at Utrecht University in 2019.

Finally, I enjoy disseminating my research through popular venues. I have written for such publications as The Conversation, The Jewish Daily Forward, and Tablet Magazine, and am a founding member, contributor, and commissioning editor at Jewth!nk. I have spoken at Limmud festivals and synagogue events. I have been interviewed on the radio by Allison Josephs of "Jew in the City" and Petrie Hoskin (BBC Radio London), in a webinar with the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), and on the New Books Network as well as the Bonnets at Dawn podcast

I did my undergraduate work at York University in Toronto, and my MA and PhD at New York University in New York. I taught at Fordham University, University of Alberta, Princeton University, and the University of Birmingham before joining the University of Bristol as Director of Liberal Arts in 2018. 



External positions

External Examiner, Queen's University Belfast, MLibArts Liberal Arts, School of Arts, English, and Languages

Jan 202030 Sep 2023


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  • Shofar (Journal)

    Karen Skinazi (Editor) & Rachel S. Harris (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity