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Laura Suzanne Lieber

Visiting Professor of Religious Studies
Religious Studies
Box 90964, Durham, NC 27708-0964
118B Gray Bldg, Durham, NC 27708


My primary area of research is in the area of synagogue poetry ("piyyut") from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. I examine these works from a variety of perspectives, including literary, performative, and comparative (particularly with early Christian hymnography in Syriac and Greek), and also as a genre of early Jewish biblical interpretation. In recent years, I have begun to integrate the study of material culture into my analysis of these literary works, as part of taking a more fully "contextual" approach to literary analysis. My most recent work approaches late ancient hymnography through the lens of theater studies and performance.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Visiting Professor of Religious Studies · 2023 - Present Religious Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2014 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

The University of Chicago · 2003 Ph.D.
Hebrew Union College · 1998 M.A.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville · 1994 B.A.