Lois C. Dubin
Professor of Religion
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As a Professor of Religion and a member of the Jewish Studies Program, Lois C. Dubin teaches a range of courses on Jewish history and thought; world religions; and women, spirituality, and feminist politics. In Fall 2014, she teaches REL 200, "Approaches to the Study of Religion", with an emphasis on ritual, and REL 221, "Jewish Spirituality: Philosophers and Mystics". In Spring 2015 she teaches JUD 125/REL 225, "Intro to Jewish Civilization", with an emphasis on food and foodways, and, as co-teacher with Professor Vera Shevzov, REL 106, "Women and Religion".
Raised in Montreal, Dubin was educated at McGill and Harvard Universities. She has published widely on 18th and 19th century European Jewish history and thought, particularly on the cultural and political movements of Enlightenment and Emancipation, the emergence of civil marriage and divorce, and the relations between commerce, culture and politics in mercantile communities. She is currently writing a microhistory Rachele's Pursuits: Love, Law, and Liberty in Revolutionary Europe. Most recently, in 2012-13, she was a Visiting Professor at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Fellow in the research group “Borders of Jewishness, Microhistories of Encounter”. In May 2014, she was a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.
Her award-winning book The Port Jews of Habsburg Trieste: Absolutist Politics and Enlightenment Culture (1999) was reissued in paperback (2010) and translated into Italian, Ebrei di porto nella Trieste asburgica: Politica assolutista e cultura dell’Illuminismo (2010).
For the journal Jewish History, she guest-edited two special issues: “Port Jews of the Atlantic” (2006) and “From History to Memory: The Scholarly Legacy of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi” (vol. 28:1, March 2014). To the latter, she also contributed the article “Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, the Royal Alliance, and Jewish Political Theory”.
She has also written articles on contemporary Jewish feminist theology and ritual, such as “Who’s Blessing Whom? Transcendence, Agency and Gender in Jewish Prayer” (Cross Currents 2002); “A Ceremony for Remembering, Mourning, and Healing after Miscarriage” (Kerem 1995-96); and "Fullness and Emptiness, Fertility and Loss: Meditations on Naomi's Tale in the Book of Ruth," in Kates and Reimer, eds., Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story (1994).
She has lectured widely in the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Israel, and South Africa. She serves on the boards of several scholarly journals and organizations.