Professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies
EducationB.A. in English and Judaic Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel; M.A.: English Literature, Bar Ilan University, Israel; Ph.D. Comparative Literature and English, New York University, 1977
Areas of ExpertiseHebraic literature, Bible as and in Literature, Women in Hebraic and Western literature, Comparative literary theory, Literature and Religion, Literature and Politics.
Contact InformationOffice/Hours: Stamford Campus, Room 365
Phone: (203) 251-8435/9525
Nehama Aschkenasy earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University in 1977. She also holds degrees in Judaic Studies and English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She teaches courses in Israeli and Middle Eastern literature, Bible, Women's Studies, and English Literature at the Stamford campus and graduate courses in Literature and Politics and Literature and Religion at the Storrs campus.
In 1981 Aschkenasy founded the Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies at UConn, Stamford, which coordinates the credit courses within the academic curriculum and offers outreach programs for the community at large in all areas of Judaic culture, literature , and history as well as in interfaith studies. The Center enjoys broad community recognition and financial support, and its innovative outreach programs are attended by diverse groups from the local communities.
Dr. Aschkenasy has published four books: Eve's Journey: Feminine Images in Hebraic Literary Tradition (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986; paperback: Wayne State University Press, 1994, 1996), a Choice selection and winner of the Present Tense / AJC Literary Award; Woman at the Window: Biblical Tales of Oppression and Escape (Wayne State University Press, 1998), Biblical Patterns in Modern Literature;(Brown Series in Judaic Studies - Chico, CA, 1984), and the dedicated volume, The Bible's Presence in Contemporary Hebrew Literature and Culture (which she edited for the AJS Review, 28:1, 2004, a Cambridge University Press journal), with invited articles from international and American senior scholars, to which she contributed a methodological Introduction and an article.
Aschkenasy has contributed chapters to numerous scholarly books, and published essays in Judaic Studies, Women's Studies, and Comparative Literature in publications such as Comparative Drama, Modern Language Studies (where she served as an Advisory Editor for over a decade), SYMPOSIUM, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (where she currently serves as an Advisory Editor), Prooftexts, Journal of Biblical Literature, the AJS Review (where she served as Associate Editor for sixteen years), The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, the Melton Journal, Hebrew Higher Education, Judaism, Midstream, Lilith, Tradition, and Hadassah Magazine. Her landmark essay "Recreating the Canon" was selected to be included in the "Intellectual Property" section of the 2013 volume of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization (Yale University Press), described as "a monumental project that includes the best of Jewish culture in its historical and global entirety.” Invited by de Gruyter to contribute to its Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, she has contributed several articles in the categories of "Judaism" and "Literature" with several more in progress. She was also invited as guest scholar and distinguished lecturer to many academic institutions in the US, Canada (such as Concordia University, York University), and Europe (such as Heidelberg University and others), as well as to numerous community study retreats . She has also frequently given commentary on Middle Eastern politics and culture in the Stamford, CT area television station and published Op-Ed pieces in and local papers.