Laura Arnold Leibman
Professor of English and Humanities
Division of Literature and Languages
Laura Arnold Leibman is Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1995. Her general field of interest is religion and American culture prior to the American Civil War. She is the author of Indian Converts (U Mass. P. 2008) and numerous academic articles, including three articles co-authored with Reed students, one of which won the 2015 Wasserman Essay Prize from the journal American Jewish History. She known for her scholarship in Digital Humanities and regularly teaches courses in this area. In addition to being the chair of the Digital Media Committee for the Association of Jewish Studies, she served as the academic director of the award-winning, multimedia public television series American Passages: A Literary Survey (2003). Her book Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (Vallentine Mitchell 2012) won a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award and a National Jewish Book Award, and was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. She has been a Fulbright scholar at University of Panama and Utrecht University (Netherlands) and will be a visiting fellow at Oxford University in 2017. She is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the Association of Jewish Studies. Her current book project uses material culture to explore the topic of Jews and race during the emancipation debates that swept the Americas in the 1790s-1830s.