Mark A. Goldberg
Director, Jewish Studies
Associate Professor of History
Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 54
Dr. Goldberg is an Associate Professor in the History Department and an affiliate of the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Center for Public History. His first book, Conquering Sickness: Race, Health, and Colonization in the Texas Borderlands (Nebraska, 2016), examines the role of health and healing in the conquests of 18th- and 19th-century Texas. He is working on research and public-history projects on the history of Jewish Latin@s, currently titled Double Diasporas: Understanding a Latina/Latino Jewish Past (book project) and “‘La Hora’: Jewish Latina/os and Explorations in Jewish History and Identity” (public-history project). Both projects engage contemporary communities and explore historical storytelling as a way to understand these understudied communities’ histories and experiences in multiple diasporas in the United States. He is interested in what Latin@ Jewish history can tell us broadly about Jewish, Latin@, and American culture, identity, and history. Dr. Goldberg teaches courses on the history of Jewish food, Jewish Latin@ history, early America, the history of race and racism, and Latin@ history.
Richard H. Armstrong
Coordinator of International Programs
Associate Professor of Classical Studies, The Honors College, and Department of Modern and Classical Languages
212 M.D. Anderson Library
Richard H Armstrong (BA U Chicago, M. Phil., Ph.D. Yale University) is Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and the Honors College. His research interests are centered on the reception of classical culture and translation studies, with particular interest in the development of early psychoanalysis (a strong point of secular Jewish Studies interest). He is author of A Compulsion For Antiquity: Freud and the Ancient World (Cornell UP 2005, paperback 2006) and various articles concerning classical education and secular Jews in Vienna, Freud’s interest in the ancient world, and the psychoanalytic view of myth. He is currently finishing a monograph, Theory and Theatricality: Greek Drama in the Age of Grand Hysteria, which looks at the influence of theatricality on Freud’s development of psychoanalysis. With Paul Allen Miller, he is co-editor of the series Classical Memories/Modern Identities with Ohio State UP. He is also a contributor to KUHF’s Engines of Our Ingenuity program, including episodes like “College Yiddish vs. Modern Hebrew,” a brief look at two language textbooks from the 1940s ( http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2356.htm). For more, see www.richardharmstrong.com .
He regularly teaches The Human Situation in the Honors College (a great books course regularly involving the Hebrew Bible and New Testament as well as classical literature), CLAS 3375 Roman, Jew and Christian (about the political interactions between the Roman Empire, Second Temple Judaism, and the Jesus Movement), and CLAS 3350 Law and Society in Ancient Rome (often drawing parallels to the Torah and discussing the Roman administration of Judea). He also teaches CLAS/WCL 4353 Dreaming Culture, a course on dreams and dream interpretation from antiquity to the 21st century, which includes Biblical material as well as a long look at Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams.
Professor of Modern and Classical Languages
Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 611
Alessandro Carrera has a degree in Theoretical Philosophy from the Università degli Studi in Milan, Italy, and a Ph.D. by Publications in Music, Humanities, and Media from the University of Huddersfield, U.K. In his Italian dissertation, he studied the aesthetics and the philosophical implications of the relationship between poetry and music in the work of Jewish-Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg. He has also written on Jewish-German and Jewish-French philosophers such as Ernst Bloch and Jacques Derrida, and on Jewish-Romanian poet Paul Celan. He has translated into Italian the poems and short stories of Jewish-American writers Allen Mandelbaum and Marc Zimmerman. He is the Italian translator of Bob Dylan (Nobel Prize Literature 2016) and has written extensively on Dylan, his role in American literature and popular culture, and his connections with Jewish-American culture and Evangelical Christianity.
Associate Professor, Modern and Classical Languages
609 Agnes Arnold Hall
Lecturer, Modern and Classical Languages and World Cultures and Literatures
Bernice Heilbrunn received her Masters degree and Juris Doctorate from Harvard University and a PhD in History from the University of Houston. She is revising a manuscript for a book tracing the life of radical Reform Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch and the congregants who broke new ground during the Progressive Era in social justice crusades that ranged from health care for immigrants to quality education for African Americans. She continues to work on lessons gleaned from 100 years of Jewish community cookbooks. Other areas of interest include banker-philanthropist- community leader Jacob Schiff and his transnational outreach.
She is developing courses for the community on Jewish artists, Sephardic legacies after 1492, and synagogue architecture. She is a popular instructor in the Melton Program for Adult Jewish Education at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Learning Project at Congregation Beth Yeshurun. Involved with Jewish Studies at UH from the outset, Heilbrunn created a Jewish Women through Biography course and UH’s first Introduction to Jewish Studies course, which she brought into the world of online learning.
Marie Theresa Hernández
Professor, Modern and Classical Languages and World Cultures and Literatures
610 Agnes Arnold Hall
Professor of English
232B Roy Cullen Building
Dr. Irving N. Rothman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1967 where he was Director of Student Publications. He has been teaching English and American literature at the University of Houston since 1967. He teaches a course in the spring semester on Jewish-American Literature (English 3366). Students from numerous cultures—Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian—take this course, which stresses immigrant life in America, particularly in the lower East Side of New York. Many students have had the same experiences in their immigrant life in their neighborhoods in America. Dr. Rothman has published several works on Jewish subjects. His book The Barber in Modern Jewish Culture: A Genre of People, Places, and Things was published in 2008. The anthology comprises poetry, non-fiction prose, and fiction and includes 61 works each prefaced with a prose essay. Writers include five Jewish Nobel Prize winners S. Y. Agnon, Joseph Brodsky, Elias Canetti, Imré Kertész, and Isaac Bashevis Singer; also, works by Karl Shapiro, Phillip Levine, Leonard Cohen, and Woody Allen. Items of popular culture include Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and The Marx Brothers. In his Swift Studies article, “The ‘Hnea Yahoo’ of Gulliver’s Travels and Jonathan Swift’s Hebrew Neologisms,” Dr. Rothman has demonstrated where words were thought to be “nonsense words” in Gulliver's Travels, they are actually Hebrew words, drawing from Swift's training as an Anglican minister. Dr.Rothman is an active faculty member in the Hillel Foundation of the University of Houston. He encourages students to write for the Daily Cougar and demonstrate writing skills in other journalistic publications.
Instructional Assistant Professor
Jewish Studies (Modern & Classical Languages) and Religious Studies (Comparative Cultural Studies)
Caryn Tamber-Rosenau holds an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel from Vanderbilt University. Her scholarly interests include women in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple literature, early Jewish biblical interpretation, and feminist and queer criticism of the Bible. Dr. Tamber-Rosenau's work has been published in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and elsewhere. Her first book, Women in Drag: Gender and Performance in the Bible and Early Jewish Literature, is in preparation with Gorgias Press. Dr. Tamber-Rosenau is currently working on a project to collect and analyze sermons from immediately after the 2016 presidential election to investigate how American rabbis used the weekly Torah portions to speak about the election of Donald Trump.
At the University of Houston, Dr. Tamber-Rosenau teaches RELS 2310: Bible and Western Culture I; JWST/WCL 2380: Introduction to Jewish Studies; JWST/RELS 3373: Jews in the Ancient World; RELS 3371/JWST 3397: Women in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; and WCL 3553: Female Divinities.
For more, see caryntamber-rosenau.com.
Lecturer, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, and World Cultures and Literatures
Executive Director of Houston Hillel
(713) 526-4918 (Houston Hillel)
Kenny Weiss is a lecturer in Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. His courses include an overview of Judaism, rabbinic literature, and Judaism in popular culture. His most recent research interests involve the nature of humor, and the way in which Jews use humor to create community. Kenny Weiss is the rabbi and executive director of Houston Hillel, through which he coordinates Jewish life for undergraduate and graduate students on Houston’s college campuses, and for Jewish young professionals throughout Houston.