Laura S. Levitt is Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender at Temple University where she has served as chair of the department of Religion and directed the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Jewish Studies Programs. She is just completing a book for Penn State University Press about trauma and loss and how material artifacts make these painful legacies manifest, Tainted Objects: Holocaust Evidence and Criminal Archives. She is the author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (2007) and Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (1997). She is an editor of Judaism Since Gender (1997) and Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust (2003). With Tracy Fessenden (Arizona State University) and David Watt (Haverford College) she edits the North American Religions series for NYU Press.
She is currently working on a series of new projects that consider the reliquary desires that inform contemporary acts of commemoration. These include a consideration of forensic architect Robert Jan van Pelt’s “The Evidence Room” his contribution with the Waterloo School of Architecture’s piece for the 2016 Architectural Biennale in Venice, Italy as a contemporary Holocaust reliquary and a web project, the custody corner which
will collect stories of objects held as criminal evidence.
This past year she published a brief piece on Immanent Frame, “Secular, Sacred, Yiddish, Jewish,” https://tif.ssrc.org/2017/10/19/secular-sacred- yiddish-jewish/ and an object narrative at MAVCOR that considers the reliquary possibilities of photography, https://mavcor.yale.edu/mavcor-journal/miki-kratsman-diptych-from-the-re...