Biographies

Erez DeGolan is a PhD student in Ancient Judaism at Columbia University. His research aims at bridging the gap between theories and methods in the fields of Religious Studies and Social History in the study of the ancient and late ancient Mediterranean. Currently, Erez is working on the history of emotion and affect in rabbinic culture, with specific attention to themes such as joy, pleasure, and happiness. Erez holds a BA in Hebrew Literature and Middle-Eastern History from Tel-Aviv University and an MTS in Judaism from Harvard Divinity School.

Elena Dugan is a fourth-year doctoral student at Princeton University, in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield. She is interested in the composition, transmission, and reception of Second Temple texts throughout Late Antiquity and into the Early Islamic period, and is writing a dissertation on the (non-Ethiopic) manuscript history of 1 Enoch.

Pratima Gopalakrishnan is a PhD candidate in religious studies (Judaic Studies) at Yale University. Her research focuses on Near Eastern Jewish religion and history, and in particular on late antique rabbinic texts produced in Palestine and Babylonia. She also works with medieval documentary sources from the Cairo Geniza. Her dissertation, “Domestic Labor and Marital Obligations in the Ancient Jewish Household,” considers the productive and affective dimensions of work performed within the household. She is more broadly interested in the study of gender & sexuality, economics, and legal cultures in late antiquity.

Dov Kahane is a PhD candidate in Rabbinic Culture and Literature at JTS. His research interest is to examine narratives of the Bavli (Babylonian Talmud), reading them as carefully wrought literary products of the editors who crafted them. The use of source and form criticism as well as lower critical methods are essential tools in discerning both the fine brush strokes of artistry that inform these stories as well as the overall themes and cultural work that the editors of these narratives are expressing.  His particular project is to evaluate the humanistic aspects of rabbinic culture – rabbis qua people – as depicted in and displayed by the narratives that appear in the Bavli.

Yoni Nadiv is a 3rd-year PhD student in the religious studies department at Yale University, where he studies the redaction and composition of the Babylonian Talmud, its transmission in Geonic institutions, and Digital Humanities applications. He holds an MA in Education and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and recently served as a Digital Humanities Teaching Fellow for the Yale University Digital Humanities Library.

James Nati is 6th-year doctoral candidate in Yale’s Department of Religious Studies, focusing on the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism. His dissertation,Textual Criticism and the Rules from Qumran, takes the Community Rule manuscripts as a test case for interrogating some of the foundational assumptions of biblical textual criticism. He is also at work on two side-projects: a handbook on the Ethiopic texts of Jubilees and 1 Enoch, and on a commentary on theCommunity Rule with John Collins.

Jillian Stinchcomb is a fifth-year doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation is a reception history of the Queen of Sheba in the first millennium, reading across a wide range of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian literature to analyze and historically contextualize various iterations of the story of the Queen’s encounter with Solomon. The dissertation primarily focuses on the Queen of Sheba stories in Kings, Chronicles, Josephus’ Antiquities, Targum Sheni to Esther, Midrash Mishlei, and the Alphabet of Ben Sira, each in tandem with Muslim and Christian comparanda in order to interrogate the category of biblical reception and unsettle teleological historiographical accounts.

Meira Wolkenfeld is a PhD candidate in Talmud at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University. Her project aims to understand the role of the sense of smell in the cultural world of the Babylonian Talmud, touching upon attitudes towards the body, emotions, gender, medicine, and purity. She has taught courses at Nyack College, Congregation Shearith Israel, and Congregation Keter Torah. She studied in the Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) at Stern College, holds an MA in Talmud from Revel, and a BA in Ancient Near Eastern studies from UCLA.

Shlomo Zuckier is a doctoral candidate and AJS Dissertation Completion Fellow in Ancient Judaism at Yale’s Religious Studies program focusing on early biblical interpretation, rabbinic literature, and ritual theory. His dissertation, Flesh and Blood: The Reception of Biblical Sacrifice in Selected Talmudic Sources in Comparative Context, studies shifts in sacrificial terminology in ancient Judaism, using those findings to gain insight into rabbinic conceptions of sacrifice.