Susan L. Einbinder

Susan L. Einbinder
Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
University of Connecticut

Susan L. Einbinder is Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the University of Connecticut, where she has taught since 2012. From 1993-2012, she taught Hebrew literature at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati; she began her career with two one-year appointments at Colgate University (1987-88) and the University of Maryland (1992-93). She began her graduate studies at Columbia with an interest in medieval French and Occitan literatures, an interest that expanded to include Hebrew after a five-year hiatus in the Hebrew Union College’s rabbinical program. She has written two books on medieval French Jews and their literary responses to persecution and expulsion, Beautiful Death (Princeton: 2002) and No Place of Rest (Phila: 2009). Her third book marked a turn to what remains an ongoing fascination with plague and the plague experience of medieval European Jews. After the Black Death (Phila: 2018) looked at the literary and material traces of that experience among Iberian Jewish communities, while a forthcoming book, Writing Plague (Phila: 2023) examines literary testimonies to the Great Italian Plague of 1630-31.

A new project continues to explore plague-related themes with a focus on the multispecies intersections of medieval Jews, rodents, and fleas. She has been the grateful recipient of fellowships from the Shelby Cullom Davis Center, the National Humanities Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Cullman Center at the NY Public Library, and the University of Haifa’s Center for Mediterranean Studies. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and in 2022 a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. She has had visiting faculty appointments at Brown University (spring 2019) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (fall 2019).


Selected Publications

Writing Plague: Jewish Responses to the Great Italian Plague, forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press. [anticipated winter 2022/23].

After the Black Death: Commemoration and Plague among Iberian Jews (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

No Place of Rest: Medieval Jewish Literature, Expulsion, and the Memory of France (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002).

“Seeing the Blind: The Lament for Uri haLevi and Hysterical Blindness among Medieval Jews,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 20.1 (2013): 9-32.

“Moses Rimos: Poetry, Poison and History,” Italia 20 (2010): 67-91.

“A Proper Diet: Medicine and History in Crescas Caslari’s Esther (1327),” Speculum 80.2 (2005): 437-63.