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Schusterman Visiting Professor

Select the year below to view more information about each visiting professor.

See Also: Professor Mishory's CVAlec Mishory

Professor Alec Mishory is an art historian, author and lecturer at the Open University in Tel Aviv, Israel. Mishory has spent the last year as a Schusterman visiting professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas. During the coming year, he will teach and lecture at UT and participate in outreach efforts to campus organizations and Knoxville's Jewish community.

This is the third consecutive year that UT Knoxville has been selected to host a Schusterman visiting professor. Only 20 American universities are chosen each year for the program, which is funded by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

"We are thrilled that Professor Mishory will be joining us for the next year," said Gilya Schmidt, professor of religious studies and director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies. "His deep knowledge of art history, including European, American, Israeli and Jewish secular and religious visual culture, will be a wonderful resource for our students, our faculty and staff, and the entire Knoxville community."

Mishory will teach courses on Jewish and Israeli art each semester during the academic year. He holds a doctorate in art history from the City University of New York, a master's in art history from Tel Aviv University and a bachelor's in fine art and art education from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. He has lectured at Hunter College in New York and the State Art Teachers' College and Beer Sheva Teachers' College in Israel.

In addition to his academic posts, Mishory was art adviser to the Office of the President of Israel and served in the cultural affairs division of the Israeli government's Ministry of Education and Culture. He also was the art critic for "Haaretz," the daily Israeli newspaper, curated several exhibits of contemporary Israeli art and crafts and published extensively on themes and subjects in Jewish-Israeli visual culture.

See Also: Professor Bursztyn's CV | Film Festival

Igal BursztynProfessor Igal Bursztyn is an Israeli filmmaker and an adjunct professor in Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Arts. He will teach and lecture at UT and in Knoxville's Jewish community during the 2009-2010 academic year, forging ties among community constituencies both on and off campus.

Having directed dozens of full-length motion pictures, short films and documentaries, Bursztyn is known as one of Israel's foremost filmmakers. He has lectured about his films at New York University and at various film festivals in the U.S.A. and Israel as well as in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Russia and Taiwan.

UT Knoxville was one of only 20 American universities chosen to host a visiting professor this year through the program. The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise -- with support of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation -- selects a small number of American universities each year to receive grants to appoint a visitor.

This was the second year in a row that the program selected UT Knoxville to host a visiting professor from Israel. Last year, Professor Rivka Ribak of the University of Haifa taught classes at UT on communication technologies and cultural identity.

"We are so excited that Professor Bursztyn will be spending the next year with us," said Gilya Schmidt, professor of religious studies and director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies. "His insightful scholarship and fluid artistry in the craft of filmmaking are widely known amongst his colleagues, and Knoxville's Jewish community welcomes him with open arms," Schmidt said.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Bursztyn will teach four courses on Israel, two per semester. They will include "Israel's Self-Image Through Film" and "Film Thinking in Israel."

Bursztyn's scholarly works on film include "Face as Battlefield" (1990), "Film, Language and Civil Wars of Culture" (1996), "Intimate Gazes" (2009), and "Documentation, Fiction, and Documentary" (2004), which is recognized by Israeli film scholars as an important contribution to the academic field.

His films include several documentaries including "Displaced Persons" (1979), "Leibovitz in Maalot" (1979), "Belated Talk" (1987), "Smokescreen" (1999) and "Guide for the Perplexed" (2005). His short dramas include "Louise! Louise!" (1968), "Ethics V" (1992) and "Letters to Felice" (1993). His feature films are "Belfer" (1976), "Everlasting Joy" (1997), "The Glow (Zimzum)" (2000), "Out of the Blue (Etzbah Elohim)" (2008) and he is currently working on "Return of Casanova."

Bursztyn was born in Manchester, England, and has lived in Israel since 1957.

See Also: Dr. Ribak's CV

Rivki RibakRivka Ribak, senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Haifa, will teach and lecture at UT and in the Jewish community and act as a liaison between several constituencies on and off campus.

The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise -- with support of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation -- selects 20 American universities each year to receive grants to appoint a visitor.

Ribak earned her doctorate in communication from the University of California at San Diego and has published numerous papers since then. Recently Ribak and her colleague, Michele Rosenthal, received a three-year grant from the Israel Science Foundation to study "Unplugged: Case Studies in Media Avoidance." Her work explores how different groups resist or renegotiate their uses of new and old communication technologies.

She will teach two classes each semester. "Israeli Filmmakers: Cinema and Society" explores contemporary Israeli cinema, and "Israeli Media Scholarship: Cultural Approaches" focuses on identities and processes in Israeli society as they are constructed in and through the media. Both courses are full for the fall semester.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Ribak with us in this capacity. Her classes are full, so students are definitely able to benefit from her presence on campus. Her colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies are excited about the opportunity to exchange ideas with her, and the Jewish community is very happy to embrace her and her family while they are in Knoxville," said Gilya Schmidt, professor and department head. Schmidt also chairs the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies in the department.

"We are grateful to the College of Arts and Sciences, our community donors and the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise for making this special educational venture possible," she said.

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