Rashkow, Ilona N. 1947-
Rashkow, Ilona N. 1947-
(Ilona Nemesnyik Rashkow)
PERSONAL: Born April 26, 1947, in New York, NY; married, 1975. Education: Catholic University, B. Mus., 1971; University of Maryland, M.A., 1984; Ph.D., 1988.
ADDRESSES: Office— Department of Comparative Studies, SUNY, Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-3355. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: Educator, scholar, and writer. Speechwriter for Congressman Richard C. White, 1971-72; Education & Public Welfare Division: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, specialist in social legislation and section head, 1972-82; University of Georgia, lecturer in English, 1988-89; State University of New York at Stony Brook, assistant professor of comparative literature, Judaic studies, and women’s studies, 1989-95, professor of comparative literature, Judaic studies, and women’s studies and director of graduate studies, 1995—. Also University of Maryland, teaching fellow, 1984-85, university fellow, 1985-88; University of Maryland Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies, visiting research scholar, 1992-93; Jewish Theological Seminary of America, visiting research scholar, 1997; and University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, visiting Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies, 2000.
MEMBER: Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, Modern Language Association, American Comparative Literature Association, World Union Jewish Studies, Association of Jewish Studies; Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: New York State/United University Professions New Faculty Development Award, 1990; Faculty Development Grant, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1990; American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, 1990.
Upon the Dark Places: Anti-Semitism and Sexism in English Renaissance Biblical Translation, Sheffield Academic Press (Sheffield, England), 1990.
The Phallacy of Genesis: A Feminist-Psychoanalytic Approach, Westminster/J. Knox (Louisville, KY), 1993.
Taboo or Not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
Contributor to books, including Reading between Texts, edited by Danna Nolan Fewell, Westminister/John Knox Press (Louisville, KY), 1992;Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies, edited by David Gunn and Timothy Beal, Routledge Press (London, England), 1996;Feminist Readings of the Book of Genesis, edited by Athalya Brenner Sheffield Academic Press (Sheffield, England), 1998;Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN), 1999;Feminist Companion to Exodus through Deuteronomy, edited by Athalya Brenner, Sheffield Academic Press (Sheffield, England), 2000;A Handbook for Postmodern Biblical Interpretation, Chalice Press (St. Louis, MO), 2000; and Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdman’s Publishing (Grand Rapids, MI). Contributor to journals, including Pastoral Psychology, Semeia, Sixteenth Century Journal, and Mid-Hudson Language Studies. Contributor of book reviews to periodicals, including Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Bible Review, and Hebrew Studies.
SIDELIGHTS: Ilona N. Rashkow is a Judaic scholar whose interests include the Hebrew Bible, feminist literary criticism, psychoanalytic literary theory, women’s studies, and career history. In her book Upon the Dark Places: Anti-Semitism and Sexism in English Renaissance Biblical Translation, the author writes about the various agendas, some of them covert, that resulted in specific translations of the English Bible during the “classical period.” Covering the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the author focuses on the poetic differences in various translations and how the text can be changed in content and meaning by the translator. Writing in Interpretation, William P. Brown commented: “Rashkow’s primary agenda is to demonstrate the pervasive extent to which the ideologies of anti-Semitism and misogyny permeate English translations.”
Rashkow interprets some of the most famous Biblical stories that feature dysfunctional families—such as the story of Lot and his daughters—in her book Taboo or Not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible. She draws from the field of psychoanalysis for her interpretations of the Biblical stories and delves into various types of sexual conduct prohibited by the Bible.“The book’s main target audience is interested Bible scholars, but Rashkow’s clear style ensures that the book is not beyond the grasp of any curious, open mind,” wrote Anthony Heacock in Interpretation. Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch, writing in the Journal of Religion, commented that the author “challenges a number of widely-held assumptions about the nature of texts and the act of reading.”Theological Studies contributor Ronald A. Simkins wrote that the author’s “interpretations are creative and original.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Interpretation, January, 1993, William P. Brown, review of Upon the Dark Places: Anti-Semitism and Sexism in English Renaissance Biblical Translation, p. 96; July, 2001, Anthony Heacock, review of Taboo or Not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible, p. 318.
Journal of Religion, October, 2001, Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch, review of Taboo or Not Taboo, p. 633.
Theological Studies, September, 2001, Ronald A. Simkins, review of Taboo or Not Taboo, p. 649.
State University of New York at Stony Brook Web site, http://www.sunysb.edu/ (January 26, 2007), faculty profile and author curriculum vitae.*