Religion Studies Department


Sharon L. Albert


Ph.D. Candidate, The Divinity School, The University of Chicago.

Dissertation: "Translating Stories, Transforming Cultures: Translated Prose
Narratives in the Jewish Communities of Medieval Provence & Spain."

M.Phil. in Medieval Studies, received with Distinction, University College Dublin, 1993.
Major Thesis: "Pearl: A Salvific Feast of the Senses."
Minor Thesis: "Kingdoms of Glory: A Comparative Study of Four Hebrew Geographical Texts of the Middle Ages."

B.A. in English Literature, McGill University, 1987.

Fellowships & Grants
Student Collaboration Grant for Summer Research, Muhlenberg College, Summer 2006.
Service Learning Course Development Grant, Muhlenberg College, Summer 2006.
First Year Seminar Course Development Grant, Muhlenberg College, Summer 2005.
Center for Ethics Course Development Grant, Muhlenberg College, Spring 2005.
The National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education Summer Seminar: Arab World, Islamic Culture, and
the Middle East, June 2005.
Overseas Dissertation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2001-2002 (declined).
American Academy of Jewish Research Graduate Student Summer Seminar, June 2001.
Henry Luce Dissertation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2000-2001.
Divinity School Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1994-1997.
Mellon Summer Arabic Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1995.

Teaching Experience
Visiting Lecturer, Religion Studies Department, Muhlenberg College, 2004-present.
Courses have included a variety of courses in comparative religions, Jewish Studies, and Islam, as well as First Year Seminars and service-learning.

Adjunt Instructor, Religion and English Departments, Muhlenberg College .
"Introduction to Islam." Spring & Fall 2003.
"Middle Eastern Literature in Translation." Spring 2003.

Instructor, Graham School of General Studies , The University of Chicago, Spring 2002.
"Where Cultures Meet: Medieval Spain through Multi-Ethnic Sources."

Instructor, The Divinity School , The University of Chicago, 1997-2001.
"Introductory Biblical Hebrew."
Intermediate Biblical Hebrew reading courses: "Ruth," "Linguistic Survey of Hebrew Texts," "Studies in Biblical Translation."

Tutor, Department of Medieval Language and Literature, University College Dublin, 1988-91, 1992-93.

Professional Experience
Honors Thesis Defense Examiner, English Department, Muhlenberg College, Spring 2004 & Spring 2006.

Instructional Technologies Specialist, Networking Services and Information Technology, The University of Chicago, 2000.

Teaching Competence
Judaism; Islam; Medieval Religion; Popular Religion; Religion and Literature; Jewish Literature; Medieval Literatures (Hebrew, Arabic, and European); Minority Literatures; Cultural Studies; Hebrew Bible.

Conference Papers
"A Jewish Buddha? The Hebrew Barlaam and Joasaph ," International Colloquium on Medieval Arabic Story-Telling: Transmission and Receptivity, Liège, Belgium, September 2005.

"The Hebraicization of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed ," 37th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2002.

"Folklore, Philosophy, or Simply Fiction? The Hebrew Barlaam and Joasaph ," The University of Chicago Medieval Studies Workshop, February 2002.

"Buddha Goes West: Abraham ibn Hasdai's Translation of Barlaam and Joasaph ," 36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2001.

Organizer, Crossing Borders: Language, Culture, and Faith in the Medieval Mediterranean , Panel I & Panel II, 36th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2001.

"But Where are the Women? The Abstraction of Female Imagery in the Medieval Hebrew Poetry of al-Andalus ," 35th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 2000.

Invited Lectures

"Islam and the Sunni/Shi'a divide," Berks County Peace Community, Reading, Pennsylvania, March 2006.

"Islam," Diversity Fest 2005, Kutztown University, September 2005.

"Abraham's Sacrifice: How this story is read and interpreted in Judaism," Church of the Mediator, Allentown, Pennsylvania, May 2004.

Panelist, "Religious Perspectives on War," Teach-In: War with Iraq, Muhlenberg College, March 2003.

"Contemporary Islam," Guest Lecture for "Religious Extremism," Muhlenberg College, February 2003.

"The Jews of al-Andalus," Introductory Lecture, University of Chicago, ChicaGO Summer Travel Study Program, June 2001.

" Reading Scripture: Rabbinic Reading ," Guest Lecturer for "Religion & Literature," Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, February 2001.

College Service
College Committee on Campus Life, 2006-2009.
"Wiki Writing" presentation at the Writing Center Workshop, August 2006.

"Clickers, Wikis and Moodle" presentation at the Faculty Center for Teaching, February 2006.

Religion Department Vision and Planning Committee, Fall 2005.

Second year faculty panel discussion at Faculty Center for Teaching's New Faculty Orientation, August 2005.

First Year Advising, 2005-2007.

June Advising, 2005, 2006; Advising Mentor, 2006.

"Information Literacy" presentation to a joint meeting of the Faculty Center for Teaching and staff of the Dean of Campus for Academic Life, June 2005.

Acting Director, Jewish Studies, 2004-2005.

Reading and speaking competence in Hebrew and French; reading competence in Spanish, Arabic, Latin, and Old English.

Professional Memberships
American Academy of Religion, Association for Jewish Studies, Medieval Academy, Middle East Medievalists