Belser brings interdisciplary scholarship to Harvard

Rabbi Julia Watts Belser (Ph.D. ‘08) will be Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Jewish Ethics at Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program for 2011-12. She earned her Ph.D. in the Joint Doctoral Program in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley.

Belser, who is Assistant Professor of Judaism at Missouri State University, strives to teach classic Jewish texts in ways that speak to contemporary longings. While at HDS, she will set contemporary postcolonial, queer, womanist, and feminist theorists and poets in provocative conversation with the Babylonian Talmud to articulate a critical Jewish feminist ethics that responds to gender and queer violence, poverty, sexual exploitation, and ecological catastrophe. She is currently completing her book, Narrative Dialectics: Theology and Ecology in Bavli Taanit.

She co-authored A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, distributed to grassroots groups and health workers around the world. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Midstream: A Journal of Jewish Thought, The Journal of Women and Religion, Kalliope: A Journal of Women's Art and Literature, and Fireweed: A Feminist Quarterly.