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Dr Karen SkinaziPhD, MA, BA (Hons)

Senior Lecturer

Karen Skinazi

Dr Karen SkinaziPhD, MA, BA (Hons)

Senior Lecturer

Member of

Research interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, though I primarily write about late 19th through 21st-century ethnic 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). 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. In September 2019, it was awarded Honourable Mention from the Robert K. Martin/Canadian Association for American Studies Book Prize.

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.

My new research examines the productive interface between contemporary Anglo-American Muslim and Jewish women’s literature. And I am currently co-editing a special issue of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies about religious women's feminist art with Dr Rachel Harris of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.

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, 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 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; spoken at Limmud festivals and synagogue events; and been interviewed on the radio by Allison Josephs of "Jew in the City," in a webinar with the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), and on 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. 



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