Jewish Women’s Cultural Capital under Islam


Ruth M. Karras

University of Minnesota
Ruth is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are the history of women, gender and sexuality in …

Paola Tartakoff

Rutgers University
Paola is a professor in the Department of Jewish Studies and the Department of History at Rutgers University. Her research interests are the social and …

Shira Wolosky

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Shira is a professor in the Department of English, Department of American Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research interests are feminism, …

Research Groups:Jewish Women’s Cultural Capital from the Late Middle Ages Through the Early Twentieth Century


[RG # 158]  Jewish Women’s Cultural Capital from the Late Middle Ages Through the Early Twentieth Century

September 1, 2016- July 1, 2017

Moshe Rosman (Bar Ilan University)

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Throughout Western history women have been assigned a status as cultural observers and social facilitators to men's roles as cultural performers and social actors. This status however, was not fixed, and cultural-social gender barriers could be crossed. Authority in the family, responsibilities in the public sphere, communal activism, economic productivity, education, ritual religious roles, literary and artistic creativity were all forms of cultural capital which could position women at intersections of power and privilege and challenge gender hierarchies. Recent decades have witnessed a revolution in the scholarship of women's history, uncovering trends that complicate accounts of the possibilities for women. However, these investigations into women’s social and cultural roles have been based predominantly on the lives of Christian women, in Europe west of the Oder, and in North America. A primary research objective of our group is to turn to communities that, both geographically and culturally, have not been properly attended to by the existing scholarship. By bringing together a group of scholars who specialize in a range of periods and locations, our research will create a framework for exploring these issues in Jewish history and their implications for other histories of women.


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Oded Zinger

Duke University
Oded is a Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University Center for Jewish Studies. His research interests are the social and cultural history of …