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Caryn Tamber-Rosenau

Director, Jewish Studies
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. She is the author of Women in Drag: Gender and Performance in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature (Gorgias Press, 2018). She is at work on her second book, Queering Time in Second Temple Judaism, under contract with Oxford University Press. Dr. Tamber-Rosenau's work has also been published in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Biblical Interpretation, and elsewhere.

Dr. Tamber-Rosenau's classes include RELS 2310: Bible and Western Culture I; WCL/JWST 2380/RELS 2336: Introduction to Jewish Studies; RELS/JWST 2372: The Bible and Modern Pop Culture, WCL 3355: Goddesses and Other Divine Women; RELS/JWST 3371: Women in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; and RELS/JWST 3373: Jews in the Ancient World."

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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 (B.A. U Chicago; M.Phil., Ph.D. Yale University) is associate professor of classical studies in the department of modern and 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 (

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." 

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Alessandro Carrera

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.


Christian A. Eberhart, Ph.D.

Professor of Religious Studies
Director, Religious Studies Program
Science & Research Building 2, 122E

A native from Hannover, Germany, Chris Eberhart studied at the Academy for Jewish Studies in Heidelberg (Germany) and at the University of Marburg (Germany) before obtaining an MTS degree from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). He holds a doctorate in Hebrew Bible studies from the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and a Habilitation (second doctorate) in New Testament studies from the University of Mainz (Germany).

Eberhart’s research interests focus on rituals, concepts of reconciliation and atonement, biblical texts and manuscripts, the literature and culture of Second Temple Judaism, the history of biblical interpretation, the Qumran fragments/Dead Sea Scrolls and interreligious dialogue. His recent books include the following: "Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement in Early Judaism and Christianity: Constituents and Critique" (co-edited with H.L. Wiley, Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2017), "What a Difference a Meal Makes" (Lucid Books, 2016), and "Kultmetaphorik und Christologie" (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013).

Sandy Frieden

Sandy Frieden, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Modern and Classical Languages and World Cultures and Literatures

Sandy Frieden, Ph.D. has taught a variety courses in German Cinema at the University of Houston since 1982, as well as courses in World Cinema, German language, and International Women Writers and presentations on film in the Houston community.  She is the author of Autobiography:  Self Into Form—German Language Autobiographical Writings of the 1970s; lead editor of Gender and German Cinema:  Feminist Interventions, Vol. 1 & 2; and author of numerous articles on German film and literature. Her bachelors and masters degrees in German are from the University of Houston, and her doctorate is from the Universität Siegen in Germany. Courses she teaches currently are Creative Arts Core courses on Fascism and German Cinema, East German Cinema, and History of German Cinema.

Hildegard Glass

Associate Professor, Modern and Classical Languages
609 Agnes Arnold Hall

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Mark A. Goldberg

Associate Professor of History
Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 54

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. Goldberg teaches courses on the history of Jewish food, Jewish Latin@ history, early America, the history of race and racism, and Latin@ history. 

Marie T. Hernandez

Marie Theresa Hernández

Professor, Modern and Classical Languages and World Cultures and Literatures
610 Agnes Arnold Hall

Rainbow, J.

Jesse Rainbow

Associate Instructional Professor
Honors College

Jesse Rainbow (Ph.D., Harvard University) is an associate instructional professor in the Honors College, where he is a faculty leader for The Human Situation, the Honors College’s freshman great books course. His research focuses on divination in the world of the Hebrew Bible and on early Jewish interpretation of scripture, and he regularly teaches open Honors courses with Jewish Studies content on “Law and Ethics in the Ancient Near East,” “Ancient and Medieval Medicine” and “Healing, Magic and Divination.” He frequently leads student cultural tours to the Middle East and North Africa (Israel, Egypt, Tunisia), often accompanied by an on-campus course to prepare students. For information on future trips, see

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Kenny Weiss

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 Jewish young professionals throughout Houston.

Zarnow, L.

Leandra Zarnow

Associate Professor
526A Agnes Arnold Hall

Zarnow is an associate professor in the history department and an affiliate of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her first book, "Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug" (Harvard University Press, 2019), is a political biography of the colorful Jewish congresswomen, Representative Bella Abzug. A specialist on women in politics, she co-edited with Stacie Taranto the collection "Suffrage at 100: Women in American Politics since 1920" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). She is working on a book on Heterodoxy, an influential feminist supper club that met in Greenwich Village in the early 20th century. One of the Heterodoxy members she is profiling in this group biography is the labor activist and socialist Rose Pastor Stokes. She also is co-directing Sharing Stories from 1977, a digital humanities project that aims to explore the legacy of the 1977 National Women's Conference held in Houston as well as collect and feature 150,000+ stories of NWC participants. Zarnow is particularly interested in how Jewish participants of U.S. social movements have brought their religious beliefs and ethics as well as their cultural practice and ethnic identity to their activism. As a biographer, she considers how Jewish people call upon their Jewishness in all aspects of life. Zarnow also focuses on Jewish women's history, Jewish feminism, Jewish lawyers' impact on U.S. and human rights law, Jewish engagement in cross-race/gender/class coalitional work and human rights concerns of the Jewish diaspora. Zarnow teaches courses on women's history, U.S. social movement history, U.S. legal history, the craft of biography, archival studies and public history.