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Strassfeld, Max
Associate Professor

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, was published in 2022 with the University of California Press and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. 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, a CrossCurrents fellowship at Auburn Seminary, the Berlin Prize, and a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute fellowship for Fall 2022. 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, the Institute for LGBTQI Studies, and Classics. 

Currently Teaching

RELI 160D6 – Gender and Religion

This course introduces students to the study of gender and religion. Students will consider foundational questions about the categories of religion and gender- what is religion and how do we study it? What is the relationship between gender and religion? How does gender shape religious roles and experiences, and how has gender in turn been shaped by religious expectations? We will examine some of the most central contemporary political conflicts from the perspective of gender studies and religious studies.

RELI 363 – Religion and Sex

In this course, students will analyze attitudes towards sexuality in major world religions, both globally and in the context of the United States.