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Recent Graduates

Dr. Vanda Rajcan defended her dissertation titled "Unpopular Justice: Holocaust Trials in the Slovak People's Courts, 1945-1948" in July 2021.  Vanda is currently the Assistant Director of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern.

Dr. Amanda Stein earned her doctorate in Musicology at Northwestern University after defending her dissertation “Sounding Judentum: Assimilation, Art Music, and Being Jewish Musically in 19th century German-Speaking Europe” in December 2020.  She teaches at Carroll University in Milwaukee, WI.

Dr. Rachel Merrill Moss is a Lecturer in Dramatic Literature in the School of Theatre at Boston University. She earned her doctorate in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University, with research supported by a Fulbright fellowship to Poland. Rachel's dissertation, “Chosen Peoples: Performances of Jewishness in Poland, 1918-2018,” examines how shifting representations of Jewishness from the interwar to post-soviet periods engage with changing modes of national identity formation, politics, and memory work. In December 2020, she co-created Dybuk na stulecie, an online and Warsaw-based centenary celebration honoring Anski’s The Dybbuk, in partnership with Instytut Teatralny. She has presented research at the American Society for Theatre Research, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Association for Jewish Studies, and the American and British Associations for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and she has been published in the Journal of American Drama and TheatreAJS Review. She is co-editor with Debra Caplan on the forthcoming collection, The Dybbuk Century: The Jewish Play that Possessed the World (University of Michigan Press).  

Dr. C. Tova Markenson is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technische Universität Berlin. She recently received the Edna Aizenberg Research Award from the Latin American Jewish Studies Association to support her book project on performances of gender, sexuality, and Jewish migration. 

Dr. Stephanie Brenzel defended her dissertation “As Strong as Death: Franz Rosenzweig’s Philosophy of Love in The Star of Redemption” this past spring. She will begin work as the Igor Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish-Christian Relations at the University of Toronto in August and will spend the next year turning her dissertation into a book.

Dr. Grace Kessler Overbeke presented at the Association for Jewish Studies annual conference, received the Mark and Ruth Luckens International Prize in Jewish Thought and Culture, and successfully defended her dissertation “The Forgotten Pioneer: Jean Carroll and the Jewish Female Origins of Stand-Up Comedy.” After graduating from Northwestern in the Spring of 2019, she will serve as the 2019-2020 Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Duke University before beginning a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor of Theatre at Columbia College Chicago in August 2020. She is currently working on an article for a special volume of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies and developing her dissertation into a book proposal.

Dr. Benjamin Ricciardi completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 2019 with a dissertation entitled The Weekday Amidah as a Performative Anti-Theodicy. Over the past year he submitted an article on Hermann Cohen and another on Steven S. Schwarzschild. His current research focuses on the intersection of Jewish philosophy and video games.

Dr. Sarah Wolf is Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her research focuses on practices of textual interpretation and the formation of interpretive communities in ancient and medieval Jewish culture. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2018 and her B.A. in Literature from Yale University. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “The Rabbinic Legal Imagination: Scholasticism and Narrativity in the Babylonian Talmud,” explored the nexus of Late Antique scholastic culture and rabbinic legal thought, focusing in particular on the development of narrative elements in late rabbinic legal discourse. She is a David Hartman Center Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.