To Rabbi Dr. Julia Watts Belser, an expert in both Judaic studies and disability studies, being knowledgeable about multiple fields provides a unique opportunity to combine and compare disciplines; she analyzes each field in light of the other.I noted a review of a book by Dr. Belser here and an essay by her at AJR here.
On Tuesday, the annual Jewish Studies Colloquium convened to hear Watts Belser, assistant professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University, and to discuss her ongoing work.
Introduced as someone whose scholarship “is a constant reminder of our intellectual, moral and emotional responsibility to break down barriers,” Watts Belser presented briefly on her new project, which attendees had read in advance. The project, an essay titled “Disciplining the Dissident Body: Disability, Gender, and State Violence in Rabbinic Literature,” discusses three “rabbinic stories” — Jewish theological tales — and their physical and symbolic portrayals of disability.
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