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Congratulations to two of the Center’s affiliated faculty members for winning 2024 Schwab Academic Excellence Awards. The award, offered by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, recognizes one faculty member from each College of Arts and Sciences department in the arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences. Department chairs nominate faculty members. Learn more.


American Studies: Gabrielle Berlinger
Associate Professor of American Studies and Folklore, and Babette S. and Bernard J. Tanenbaum Scholar in Jewish History and Culture

As a folklorist and ethnologist, I study creative expression in everyday life, focusing on the nature and significance of vernacular architecture and ritual practice. I examine how the construction, interpretation, and use of common structures and landscapes express their creators’ histories, social practices, cultural customs, and beliefs. My book, Framing Sukkot: Tradition and Transformation in Jewish Vernacular Architecture (Indiana University Press, 2017), emerged from 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a multiethnic, working-class neighborhood of South Tel Aviv, Israel.


Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures: Adi Nester
Assistant professor, and Levine-Sklut Fellow in Jewish Studies

My research and teaching interests focus on the interrelations of music, literature, and philosophy in the German and German-Jewish traditions. I am especially interested in the ways in which aesthetics and aesthetic theories inform our understanding of concepts like identity and difference. My first book explores the expressions of Jewish difference in the first half of the twentieth century through biblical-themed operas, the German-language literary works they are based on, and the intellectual debates surrounding them.


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