Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

Women in Drag


Gender and Performance in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature


From Jael’s tent peg to Judith’s sword, biblical interpreters have long recognized the power of the "lethal women" stories of the Hebrew Bible and related literature. The tales of Jael and Judith, female characters who assassinate enemy commanders, have fascinated artists, writers, and scholars for centuries, no doubt partly because of the gender of the characters doing the killing. Tamber-Rosenau presents the first systematic study, both text-centered and deeply engaged with a variety of queer-theoretical frameworks, of the motif of the woman-turned-warrior in ancient Jewish literature. Through analysis from queer-theoretical perspectives and comparison with Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman literature, Women in Drag shines new light on three strong female characters from the Hebrew Bible and the early days of Jewish literature.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0716-8
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 2,2018
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 294
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0716-8
$114.95
$80.46
x =

From Jael’s tent peg to Judith’s sword, biblical interpreters have long recognized the power of the "lethal women" stories of the Hebrew Bible and related literature. The tales of Jael and Judith, female characters who assassinate enemy commanders, have fascinated artists, writers, and scholars for centuries, no doubt partly because of the gender of the characters doing the killing. Tamber-Rosenau presents the first systematic study, both text-centered and deeply engaged with a variety of queer-theoretical frameworks, of the motif of the woman-turned-warrior in ancient Jewish literature. Through analysis from queer-theoretical perspectives and comparison with Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman literature, Women in Drag shines new light on three strong female characters from the Hebrew Bible and the early days of Jewish literature.  

From Jael’s tent peg to Judith’s sword, biblical interpreters have long recognized the power of the "lethal women" stories of the Hebrew Bible and related literature. The tales of Jael and Judith, female characters who assassinate enemy commanders, have fascinated artists, writers, and scholars for centuries, no doubt partly because of the gender of the characters doing the killing. Tamber-Rosenau presents the first systematic study, both text-centered and deeply engaged with a variety of queer-theoretical frameworks, of the motif of the woman-turned-warrior in ancient Jewish literature. Through analysis from queer-theoretical perspectives and comparison with Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman literature, Women in Drag shines new light on three strong female characters from the Hebrew Bible and the early days of Jewish literature.  

"Tamber-Rosenau does not shy away from discussing major methodological issues in queer and biblical studies.Whereas some writers might have allowed such issues to go unmentioned or—at the opposite extreme—to cannibalize the work, Tamber-Rosenau treats them in admirably precise yet responsible fashion. The notes in question illustrate the extent to which she adopts a refined and thoughtful approach to her topic. The prose is fluid and animated by pop culture references, and the textual discussions are highly accessible. One need not hesitate in recommending this volume to readers beyond the fields of biblical and Jewish studies. Women in Drag is a strong and welcome contribution to queer theoretical studies on the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish literature. It is full of encouraging signs that such approaches to these corpora will continue to grow and develop, and it establishes Tamber-Rosenau’s position as an exemplary voice in the field."

- Madadh Richey, RBL, 2020

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Caryn Tamber-Rosenau

Caryn Tamber-Rosenau is Instructional Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies at University of Houston. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel) from Vanderbilt University.

Table of Contents (v) 
Acknowledgments (vii)
Chapter One. Introduction (1)
   Scope (5)
   Methodology (9)
      Liminality (23)
   Conclusion and Prospect (27)
Chapter Two. Striking Women in Ancient Mediterranean Literature (29)
   Making Cross-cultural Literary Comparisons (29)
   Scope and Content of Comparisons (35)
   Goddess Comparisons (38)
      Anat (42)
      Paghit (53)
      Shaushka (56)
      Amazons (59)
      Athena (66) 
      Artemis (73)
      Clytemnestra (77)
   Conclusion (87)
Chapter Three. Penetrating Looks: Gender and the Tent-Peg Assassin (Judges 4–5) (91) 
   The Preparation (97) 
   The Act (106) 
   The Aftermath (112) 
   Jael through the Lens of Queer Theory (118)
Chapter Four. A Cut Above: The Exemplary Jewess and Her Feminine Performance (The Book of Judith) (131) 
   The Preparation (135) 
   The Act (163) 
   The Aftermath (169)
   Judith through the Lens of Queer Theory (178)
Chapter Five. Hammering It Home: The Refigured Tent-Dweller and Her Deadly Performance (Biblical Antiquities 31) (197)
   The Preparation (204) 
   The Act (215) 
   The Aftermath (218) 
   Pseudo-Philo’s Jael through the Lens of Queer Theory (221)
Chapter Six. Conclusion (227) 
   Future Directions (230) 
   Women in Drag (231)
      Jael in the Book of Judges: Mother, Seductress, Killer (231)
      Judith: How to Get a Head Using High-Femme Drag (233)
      The Second Jael: Motherhood and Sex, Made Explicit (236)
Bibliography (239)
Index (263)

Customers who bought this item also bought

Women in Shiʿism

Ancient Stories, Modern Ideologies
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0726-7
What is the nature and social role of women? In today’s Shi‘ism, these questions are often answered through the “separate-but- equal” ideology which emphasizes the role of women as wives and mothers, and places men in authority. But is this the only ideology which can be derived from Shi‘i scriptural sources? This book takes a more nuanced approach to that question by exploring how women are portrayed in hadith on ancient sacred narrative – the stories of the prophets. It shows far more diverse views on what it means to be a woman (and, by extension, a man) – and that early Shi‘is held competing views about ideals for women.
$114.95

Early Philosophical Ṣūfism

This study challenges the conventional image of the tenth-century Sufi mystic Al-Husayn Ibn Manṣūr al-Ḥallāğ (d. 929) as an anti-philosophical mystic. Unlike the predominantly theological or text-historical studies which constitute much of the scholarly literature on Ḥallāğ, this study is completely philosophical in nature, placing Ḥallāğ within the tradition of Graeco-Arabic philosophy and emphasizing, in a positive light, his continuity with the pagan Neoplatonism of Plotinus and Proclus.
$141.00

Umayyad Christianity

John of Damascus as a contextual example of identity formation in Early Islam
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0757-1
A study of the identity-formation process that the Christians of Syria-Palestine experienced during the Umayyad Caliphate. It approaches this subject by using John of Damascus and his writings on Islam as a case-study. This provides an exhaustive study of the available historical data in order to stimulate some further thought on John of Damascus’s theology and legacy from a contextual and intercultural methodology. Such an examination has not yet been pursued in the scholarship of Byzantine Christianity during that era. Proceeding from a centralizing ‘context’, the monograph revisits John of Damascus’s legacy (and the Umayyad Christians’ identity-formation of that era) from the perspective of his historical, Islamic-Arabic context, and not from any assumed, metanarrative, common to contemporary pro-Byzantine theology scholars.
$114.95

Fâṭima, Daughter of Muhammad (second edition - paperback)

Second Edition
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3939-8
The only child of Muhammad to survive him, Fâṭima was from early times taken up by Shî’a Islam, for whose adherents she is the virgin mother, the heavenly intercessor with untold power before God’s throne, and the grieving mother of al-Husayn, the Shi’a's most important martyr. During her life she was impoverished and weak, neglected, marginalized, and divested of justice: but her reward in heaven comprises incalculable riches, all those in heaven will bow their heads to her, and her company will be the angels and the friends of God. Here, for the first time, her story is told.
$45.50