Laura Levitt

Dr Laura LevittProfessor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender
(215) 204-4745
641 Anderson Hall
1114 West Polett Walk
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122


Memory, Loss, Gender, American Jews, Holocaust, Visual culture, Evidence and archives


Laura Levitt is a Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender at Temple University where she has chaired the department of Religion and served as director of both the Women’s Studies and the Jewish Studies Programs. She is the author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (2007) and Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (1997). She is an editor of Judaism Since Gender (1997) and Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust (2003). Her current project, “Evidence as Archive” builds on her prior work in feminist theory and Holocaust studies to ask what material evidence held in police storage can teach us about the role of all those other objects collected in the Holocaust museums, libraries, and archives. This project is a meditation on what it means to do justice to traumatic legacies through an engagement with such objects.

Selected Publications


  • American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust, New York: NYU Press, 2007.
  • Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home, New York: Routledge, 1997.

Edited volumes

  • Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust, edited with Shelley Hornstein and Laurence Silberstein, New York: NYU Press, 2003.
  • Judaism Since Gender, co-edited with Miriam Peskowitz, New York: Routledge, 1997.

Journal Special Issues editor

  • “Jewish feminists and our fathers: Reflections across gender and generations,” guest co-editor with Rebecca Alpert, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, 14.1(April 2009).
  • “Changing Focus: Family Photography and American Jewish Identity,” guest editor, The Scholar & Feminist Online, 1.3(January 2003)
  • “Engendering Jewish Knowledges,” guest co-editor with Miriam Peskowitz, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal For Jewish Studies 14.1 (Fall, 1995).

Recent Articles

  • “Evidence: Doing Justice,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 41.4(November, 2012), 37-44.
  • “A Letter to Mary Daly,” for special forum in Honor of Mary Daly, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 28.2 (Fall 2012), 109-112.
  • “Shedding Liberalism all over again,” “Religion and the Body,” a special issue of The Scholar & Feminist Online, (Fall, 2011),
  • with Daniel Morris “Talking about Life After the Holocaust,” Bridges, special 21st Anniversary Edition, 16.1(Spring 2011), 155-161.
  • “Still Looking: Self-Love, Ethics and Seeing Jewish,” in “ Jews & Performance,” special issue of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies, 55:3 (Fall 2011), 100-109.

Recent Chapters in Books

  • “Looking Out from Under a Long Shadow: Holocaust Memory in 21st Century America,” accepted for The Politics of Holocaust Memory, the inaugural volume in the Aftermath book series, (Melbourne, Australia: Monash University Press, forthcoming, 2012).
  • “Judeo-Christian Traditions Reconsidered” essay 16, Section III, “World’s Religions in America,” The Cambridge History of Religions in America (CHRA), General Editor, Stephen Stein, (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 285-307.
  • “Beyond a Shared Inheritance: American Jews Reclaim the Hebrew Bible,” and a response to the editorial introduction, The Calling of the Nations: Exegesis, Ethnography, and Empire in a Biblical Historic Present, Mark Vessey, Sharon Betcher, Robert Daum and Harry Maier, ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 83-101, and 128-131.
  • “Returning to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: The Tower of Faces Ten Years Later,” Photographs, Histories, Meanings, Jeanne Perreault, Linda Warley, Marlene Kadar, ed. (New York: Palgrave, 2009), 223-243.
  • “Love the One You’re With,” in The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism, Danya Ruttenberg, ed. (New York: NYU Press, 2009), 245-258.
  • “On Being Phyllis’s Daughter: Thoughts on Academic Intimacy,” in Mama PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life, Caroline Grant and Elrena Evans, ed. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008), 25-30.
  • “Other Moderns, Other Jews: Rereading Jewish Secularism in America” in Secularisms, Janet Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini, ed. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), 107-138.

Film Project

Courses Taught

  • Religion 5401, Foundations, Introduction to Judaism
  • Women’s Studies 8001, Graduate Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • Women’s Studies 9991, Women’s Studies Graduate Colloquium
  • CLA3900, Honors Research Seminar: Evidence the Course