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Jonathan Decter
Lown 310
(781) 736-2960

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Brandeis University
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Jonathan Decter


Jonathan Decter

Jonathan Decter is associate professor and the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Sephardic studies. His research focuses on Jewish literature in the Islamic World during the medieval period and in Sephardic Studies more generally.

Decter completed his Ph.D. in Medieval Jewish Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2002.  During his graduate studies, he spent a year as a fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad in Cairo and a year as a Fulbright fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  In Spring 2007 he was a faculty fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for the theme of Jewish, Christian and Muslim Life under Caliphs and Sultans.

Decter is the author of "Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe" (Indiana University Press,) which was awarded the Salo W. Baron prize for best first book in Jewish Studies, 2007.  He is also the co-editor, with Michael Rand, of "Studies in Arabic and Hebrew Letters in Honor of Raymond P. Scheindlin" (Gorgias Press).  Some of his representative articles include:

Decter, Jonathan P.. "May God Curse Them Both: Ibrahim Ibn al-Fakhar Between Castile and the Maghreb." Religious Communities in Islamic Empires. Ed. Goldstein, Miriam and David Freidenreich. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008 (forthcoming)

Decter, Jonathan P.. "Andalusi Poetics and Representations of Women in the Andalusi Hebrew Lament." Transforming Loss into Beauty: Essays in Honor of Magda al-Nowaihi. Ed. Marle Hammond and Dana Sajdi. American University in Cairo Press, 2008. 115-41.

Decter, Jonathan P.. "The Hidden Exilarch: Power and Performance in a Medieval Jewish Ceremony." Visualizing Medieval Performance: Perspectives, Histories, Contexts. Ed. Elina Gertsman. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008. 179-91.

Decter, Jonathan P.. "Landscape and Culture in the Medieval Hebrew Rhymed Prose Narrative." Jewish Studies Quarterly 14. 3 (2007): 257-85.

Decter, Jonathan P.. "The Texture of the Divine." Rev. of The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought, by Aaron Hughes. Jewish Quarterly Review vol. 97 82-84.

Decter, Jonathan P.. "Rendering Qur'anic Quotations in Hebrew Translations of Islamic Texts." Jewish Quarterly Review 96. 3 (2006): 336-358.

Decter, Jonathan P.. "Literatures of Medieval Sepharad." Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times. Ed. Zion Zohar. New York: New York University Press, 2005. 77-110.

Selected Publications: