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Department of History Hires Visiting Jewish Studies Professor


The Department of History in the Potter College of Arts and Letters (PCAL) at WKU has received a grant to hire Dr. Alexander Marcus as the Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The grant aims to build a Jewish student organization at WKU and supply a forum for the Jewish community in Bowling Green. It was provided by the Jewish Heritage Fund, an organization based in Louisville that strives to foster a strong, vibrant Jewish community in the state of Kentucky. These initiatives will be headed by Dr. Marcus.

Dr. Marcus holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Stanford University. He has taught at Stanford, Grinnell, and Yale, where he held a postdoctoral position in Ancient Judaism and History.

During his time at Grinnell, he helped build the Jewish community and enliven the Jewish student organization. At Yale, he secured funding to host an international conference and expand the university’s holdings in ancient Jewish material culture.

His academic focuses are on ancient and medieval Jewish history; the intersections of religion, science, medicine, and magic; memory and material culture; gender, power, politics, and religion; religion in popular culture; Muslim-Jewish-Christian relations; and the Hebrew Bible. He also has experience facilitating interfaith discussions and workshops around painful histories and present conflicts.

Dr. Marcus will teach RELS 101: Hebrew Scriptures and RELS 152: Introductory Hebrew during the Fall 2022 semester. RELS 152 will be offered in an evening hybrid course format, where students participate in web-based learning with an in-person meeting once a week.

He will also teach two additional special topics courses during the Spring 2023 semester that highlight the importance of food in Jewish history and culture and the prevalence of Jewish culture, life, and history in popular culture.

All students are encouraged to take these classes for Religious Studies, History, or Honors College credit.

If you have any questions about the courses, please contact the Department of History at 270-745-3841 or