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Faculty Experts


Helene Meyers

Professor of English and Holder of McManis University Chair

meyersh

Areas of expertise

Jewish American Literature and Film, Feminist Theory, Gothic Studies, Interdisciplinarity and the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century


Helene Meyers, Professor of English and McManis University Chair, is a writer and educator who works at the intersections of literary and film studies, feminist and queer studies, and Jewish studies. She is the author of Identity Papers: Contemporary Narratives of American Jewishness (SUNY Press, Dec. 2011), Reading Michael Chabon (Greenwood 2010; Gale/Cengage e-book 2011), and Femicidal Fears: Narratives of the Female Gothic Experience (SUNY Feminist Criticism and Theory Series 2001). She has served as chair of Southwestern's Feminist Studies program (formerly Women's Studies) several times. Her course Novel English Majors, which combines traditional literary analysis and career coaching, has received national attention. 

The recipient of Southwestern's Distinguished Teaching Award as well as an award recognizing her commitments to advancing diversity on campus, Professor Meyers is a committed scholar/teacher. Her public scholarship (including film and book reviews) has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forward, Ms. Magazine Blog, Tablet, Washington Independent Review of Books, and Lilith Magazine. Her research on the diverse canon of contemporary Jewish American literature and film informs not only courses at Southwestern but also adult education programs and public lectures. Meyers serves on the editorial board of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. She is currently writing a book on Jewish American cinema. 

Recent Highlights:

Feeding English Majors in the 21st Century. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jan 25, 2016

'Are You or Have You Ever Been a Zionist?' Letter to Chicago Dyke March. Forward. June 30, 2017

The Misogyny of Menashe. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. July 28, 2017

Flying While Female on EL AL. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. June 23, 2017

Serious Missteps in Dirty Dancing Remake. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. May 31, 2017

Cinematic Sustenance for a Jewish Feminist Exodus. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. April 12, 2017

Identity Crisis: The "White Jewish" Question Posed in The Human Stain. Washington Independent Review of Books. March 10, 2017

Celebrating 7 Jewish "Nasty Women" of 2016. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Dec. 30, 2016

Shiva Ribbons, Not Safety Pins. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Nov. 22,  2016

Re-Visioning Rich. Ms. Magazine Blog. June 3, 2016

My Trumped Up Jewish Fantasy, From A to Z. Tablet. April 4, 2016

Review of Woman in Gold. Journal of Religion and Film 19.2 (2015)

"How Rainbow Jews Threaten a Black and White Haredi Worldview. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Aug. 3, 2015.  Excerpted in Fall 2015 issue (on-line and print version)

"The Unmarked Chains of Paper Clips." Shofar. Spring 2014

Lecture at Vassar titled "Reel and Novel Jews"

"Why Do Research?", a reflection on the relationship between the scholarly enterprise and the sacred art of teaching, in the Forum section of PMLA


Education

PhD,Indiana University 1991
MA,University of Florida 1985
BA,Pennsylvania State University 1982

Positions

Professor of English
Southwestern University
August 01, 2002 - present
McManis University Chair, 2009 -
Acting Chair of Feminist Studies, Spring 2009, Spring 2006
Associate Professor of English, Southwestern University, 1997-2002
Chair of Women's Studies, Southwestern University, 1996-1999
Assistant Prof

Publications

BOOKS:

Identity Papers: Contemporary Narratives of American Jewishness. SUNY Press, 2011. Paperback edition 2012. "Highly Recommended" by Choice

Reading Michael Chabon. Greenwood Press, 2010. Added to Gale Virtual Reference Library 2011

Femicidal Fears: Narratives of the Female Gothic Experience. SUNY Press, Feminist Theory and Criticism Series, 2001. Reprint of Chapter 4, "The Construction of the Sadomasochistic Couple," in Gale's Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 202 (2008)

SELECTED ARTICLES and ESSAYS:

"Got Jewish Milk?": Screening Epstein and Van Sant for Intersectional Film History. Forthcoming in Jewish Film and New Media

"The Unmarked Chains of Paper Clips." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. Spring 2014

"On Homelands and Home-Making: Rebecca Goldstein's Mazel. Journal of Modern Literature. Spring 2010

"Educating for a Jewish Gaze: The Close Doubling of Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Sandra Goldbacher's The Governess." Antisemitism and Philosemitism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, eds. Phyllis Lassner and Lara Trubowitz (U of Delaware P, 2008)

"The Death and Life of a Jewish Judith Shakespeare: Rebecca Goldstein's Mazel." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. Spring 2007

"Jewish Gender Trouble: Women Writing Men of Valor." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. Fall 2006

Signed entries on Michael Chabon, Rebecca Goldstein, Laura Hobson, Judith Katz, Lesléa Newman, Lev Raphael. Greenwood Encylcopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. 2005

"The Lesbian and the Mishpachah: Newman's In Every Laugh a Tear." Studies in Jewish American Fiction 22 (2003)

"Introduction." Best Short Fiction of Lesléa Newman. Alyson Books, 2003

"To Queer or Not to Queer: That's Not the Question." College Literature. Feb. 1997

"Appropriating the Master Appropriator: The James Joyce Murder as Feminist Critique." In Joyce and Popular Culture. Ed. R.B. Kershner. University of Florida Press, 1996

"Industry or Community: Joyce and the Social Function of Criticism." James Joyce Quarterly. Winter 1994

Journalistic Writing and Reviews:

Feeding English Majors in the 21st Century. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jan. 25, 2016

'Are You or Have You Ever Been a Zionist?' Letter to Chicago Dyke March. Forward. June 30, 2017

The Misogyny of Menashe. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. July 28, 2017

Flying While Female on EL AL. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. June 23, 2017

Serious Missteps in Dirty Dancing Remake. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. May 31, 2017

Becoming the Person You Need to Be. Review of Tova Mirvis's The Book of Separation: A Memoir. Lilith Magazine. Summer 2017

Cinematic Sustenance for a Jewish Feminist Exodus. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. April 12, 2017

Identity Crisis: The "White Jewish" Question Posed in The Human Stain. Washington Independent Review of Books. March 10, 2017

Showing Up at Jewish Office Hours. Review of Abigail Pogrebin's My Jewish Year:18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew. Lilith Magazine. Winter 2016-17

Celebrating 7 Jewish "Nasty Women" of 2016. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Dec. 30, 2016

Shiva Ribbons, Not Safety Pins. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Nov. 22, 2016

Re-Visioning Rich. Ms. Magazine Blog. June 3, 2016

The Narrowness of Media Boys Club: A Primary Passover Story. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. April 21, 2016

My Trumped Up Jewish Fantasy, From A to Z. Tablet. April 4, 2016

7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2015. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Dec. 22, 2015

Holy and Unholy Tweets. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Sept. 21, 2015

Review of Woman in Gold. Journal of Religion and Film 19.2 (2015)

"How Rainbow Jews Threaten a Black and White Haredi Worldview. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Aug. 3, 2015.  Excerpted in Fall 2015 issue (on-line and print version)

"Communal Mourning." Lilith Magazine: the Blog. July 6, 2015

"Felix and Meira: Flawed Flick Worth Watching." Lilith Magazine: the Blog. June 1, 2015

Keeping the Sabbath Post-Hyper Cacher. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Jan. 16, 2015

Jewish Calendar Talk. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Oct. 3, 2014

Yentl, Me, and 1983. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. April 23, 2013

Review of Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue. The Post and Courier. Oct. 28, 2012

Review of Leslea Newman's October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Lilith Magazine: the Blog. Sept. 24, 2012. 

"Jewish Musings 5772." Nov. 15, 2011. Drash Pit


Honors & Awards

McManis University Chair, 2009 -

Brown Senior Faculty Fellowship. 2004-2005

Fellow of the Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization. Northwestern University. Summer 2000

Southwestern University Distinguished Teaching Award. Spring 2000

Southwestern University Award for Fostering Diversity. Spring 2002

Brown Faculty Fellowship. Southwestern University. 1994-95

Cullen Faculty Development Grants. Southwestern University. 1992-2009

Graduate Council Fellowship. University of Florida. 1983

University Scholar, Pennsylvania State University. 1982

Phi Beta Kappa, Pennsylvania State University. 1982

 


Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:

Contemporary Jewish life and culture: Jewish American literature and  film, differences between and among Jews (orthoodox and liberal Judaism), queer Jews, contemp

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in:

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-1492(office)
Office: Mood-Bridwell 207
meyersh@southwestern.edu