Lori Lefkovitz

Ruderman Professor and Director of Jewish Studies Program, Professor of English, Director of the Humanities Center
education Ph.D.
Brown University
Mailing address 450 RP
360 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115

Lori Hope Lefkovitz, Ruderman Professor and Director of the Jewish Studies Program and Director of the Humanities Center, is the author of In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identity (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010), which was named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and Barbara Dobkin Award in Women’s Studies. She is the recipient of many awards, including a Fulbright professorship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an academic fellowship at the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis, a Woodrow Wilson dissertation fellowship in the Women’s Studies Division, and a Golda Meir post-doctoral fellowship at Hebrew University. She was the founding director of Kolot, the Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she held a chair in Gender and Judaism, and is the founding executive editor of the website, Professor Lefkovitz holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MA and PhD from Brown University. Her books include: Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust (with Julia Epstein), Textual Bodies: Changing Boundaries of Literary Representation, and The Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel. She is widely published in the fields of literature, critical theory, and Jewish feminist studies, serves on editorial, professional, and community boards, and lectures widely in academic and Jewish contexts.

Selected Publications


In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identities (2010)

Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust (2001, ed. with Julia Epstein)

Textual Bodies: Changing Boundaries of Literary Representation (edited, 1997)

The Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel (1987)


“Not a Man:  Joseph and the Character of Masculinity in Judaism and Islam” (forthcoming in Common Lives, Uncommon Heritage: Gender in Judaism and Islam)

“The Genesis of Gender as Transgression,” Jewish Quarterly Review

“‘Demand a Speaking Part!’ The Character of the Jewish Father,” in Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Jewish Thought

“Balak,” in Torah Queeries

“The Politics and Aesthetics of Jewish Women’s Ritual” (with Rona Shapiro) in The New Jewish Feminism

“Judaism, Body Image, and Food,” in Jewish Choices/Jewish Voices

“Prayer,” Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender

“Reflections on The Future of Jewish Feminism and Jewish Feminist Scholarship,” “ Loading the Virtual Canon” (with Rona Shapiro), Nashim

“Miriam: A Reconstruction” The Women’s Passover Companion

“Passing as a Man: Narratives of Jewish Gender Performance,” Narrative

“Inherited Holocaust Memory and the Ethics of Ventriloquism”(special mention for Pushcart Prize)

“Delicate Beauty Goes Out: Adam Bede’s Transgressive Heroines,” Kenyon Review rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism

“Eavesdropping on Angels and Laughing at God: Theorizing a Subversive Matriarchy,” in Gender and Judaism

“Leah Behind the Veil: The Divided Matriarchy in Bible, Midrash, Dickens, Freud, and Woody Allen,” rpt. In Sister To Sister

“Sacred Screaming: Childbirth in Judaism,” in Lifecycles

“Antigone Anxiety: Manly Girls, Emasculated Men and the Transcendence of Gender,” in Gender, Race, and Identity

“Her Father’s Eyes, Staff, and Support: The Sage Author as Phallic Sister in Nineteenth-Century Fiction,” in Victorian Sages and Cultural Discourse: Renegotiating Gender and Power

“The Subject of Writing Within the Margins,” in Reorientations: Critical Theories and Pedagogies

“Creating the World: Structuralism and Semiotics,” in Contemporary Literary Theory

“Coats and Tales: Joseph Stories and Jewish Masculinity,” in A Mensch Among Men: Explorations in Jewish Masculinity

Selected Honors & Awards

Fulbright Professorship (Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (University of Pennsylvania); Philadelphia Institute for Psychoanalysis; Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Grant