Dr. Max Strassfeld (Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Stanford University) specializes in Rabbinic Literature, Transgender Studies, and Jewish Studies. His book, Trans Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Literature, is forthcoming from the University of California Press. The book explores eunuchs and androgynes in Jewish law, and pairs classical Jewish texts with intersex autobiography, transgender studies, and theories of queer temporality, in order to argue that the rabbis use these figures to map the boundaries of normative masculinity. In recognition of his work in gender and sexuality, he was awarded the Frankel Fellowship for New Perspectives on Gender and Jewish Life at the University of Michigan in 2013-2014. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion from 2015-2017 and currently serves on the board of the Association for Jewish Studies. Dr. Strassfeld teaches a wide range of courses, including Jews, Christians, and the Bible; Jews in the Roman Empire; Religion and Sex; and Gender, Women, and Religion. Dr. Strassfeld is an affiliate of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and a faculty affiliate of Classics.
Rabbinic literature, Jewish Studies, and Transgender Studies
This course is an introduction to the study of gender and religion. We will examine the ways religious roles have been shaped by gender, and how religion has formulated understandings of gender, including gendered representations of the divine.
In this course we will analyze attitudes towards sexuality in the major world religions, and focus on the relationship between religion and sexuality in the contemporary U.S. context.