Alanna Cooper, Abba Hillel Silver Chair of Jewish Studies and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, has been awarded a fellowship from the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
The fellowship program brings together a group of scholars each year to conduct research on a shared annual theme. It aims to support research and foster intellectual community among fellows coming from a range of disciplines and areas of focus. The 2020-2021 academic year is devoted to the theme “America’s Jewish Questions.”
Cooper is a cultural anthropologist whose work addresses contemporary Jewish life. Her attention is global in scope, with a particular focus on Jewish life in the United States. Her first book, “Bukharan Jews and the Dynamics of Global Judaism,” was published with Indiana University Press in 2013. Her current book project, “Preserving and Disposing of the Sacred: America’s Jewish Congregations,” examines the ways communities acquire, use, maintain and deaccession their material possessions.
In addition to her scholarly publications, Cooper’s work on Jewish dispersion, loss, memory, material culture and global-community has appeared in Tablet Magazine, The Forward, Jewish Review of Books, The Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Lilith. Prior to joining CWRU’s Department of Religious Studies and Program in Judaic Studies, she served as Director of Jewish Studies in CWRU’s Lifelong Learning Program. She has held teaching and research positions at the University of Michigan, Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions, Boston University, University of Massachusetts and Hebrew University in Jerusalem.