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Esther Brownsmith

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton

Esther Brownsmith is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Dayton, having received her doctorate from Brandeis University and conducted postdoctoral research at M.F. Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.

She is author of Gendered Violence in Biblical Narrative: The Devouring Metaphor, winner of an AJS Jordan Schnitzer First Book Publication Award, which is forthcoming in Routledge’s series “The Ancient Word.” She is editor-in-chief of the forthcoming Unruly Books: Rethinking Ancient and Academic Imaginations of Religious Texts, a collected volume emerging from the “Books Known Only by Title” international project. She is now working on a monograph on the book of Esther that reads it in the light of fan fiction studies, queer theory and affect theory.

Dr. Brownsmith’s research focuses especially on the stories of the Hebrew Bible and the cultural and literary norms that make them so resonant. In addition to her work on metaphor theory and gender, she conducts research on archives, archival loss and feelings about the past. She has been interviewed by the New York Times for her creation of “cuneiform cookies,” and she maintains an interest in the creative juxtaposition between ancient texts and “women’s arts” like crochet, cross-stitch and baking.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton