Maria Rethelyi

Maria Rethelyi

Assistant Professor

Ph.D.: Jewish Studies, University of Chicago, 2009

Office: 112 Coates


Mari Rethelyi received her PhD in Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago in 2009. In the following years, she taught at the University of Iowa, St. Lawrence University in New York, Loyola University in New Orleans, and Queen’s University in Canada. In 2015 she joined the Religious Studies faculty at LSU.

Areas of Interest

Her research examines Jewish race theories, the formation of Jewish identity in the modern period, and the effect of the modern ideologies of nationalism upon the writing of history in Central European Judaism. Her research interests include modern Jewish history, Jewish literature and thought, Jewish race theories, Jewish gender studies, nationalism, and Orientalism.

She has taught introductory classes on Western religions; theory of religion; medieval and modern religion and culture; gender, religion, rights, and experiences; methodologies in Religious Studies; problems in religion and culture; race, religion, and identity; and advanced classes in Jewish Studies, such as Jewish mysticism, modern Jewish thought, women in Judaism, and Jews and the media.

Courses Offered

  • REL 2029 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • REL 3010 Jews and Hollywood
  • REL 3100 Judaism

Awards and Honors

  • Queens’s University, Principal Development Fund Grant, 2014
  • Queen’s University, Faculty Travel Grant, 2012-3
  • Loyola University New Orleans, Steeg Summer Fellowship, Summer 2011
  • Loyola University New Orleans, Faculty Travel Grant, Fall 2010
  • American Council of Learned Societies, Travel Grant, Summer 2010
  • Faculty Travel and Development Grant, St. Lawrence University, NY, Fall 2009
  • Shalem Center Dissertation Grant, Jerusalem, Israel, 2007-8 (declined)
  • Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Dissertation Fellowship, 2007-8
  • Rosenzweig Research Center Dissertation Fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006-7
  • Lady Davis Dissertation Fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2006-2007 (declined)
  • Fuerstenberg Fellowship at the University of Chicago, 2002-8
  • David Zemsky Scholarship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2005
  • Doolittle Research Fellowship at the University of Chicago, 2001-6
  • University of Chicago Jewish Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2005
  • Federal Language Grant for Arabic Language, Fez, Morocco, Summer, 2005
  • University of Chicago Jewish Studies Fellowship for Doctoral Studies, 2001-2005
  • University of Chicago Jewish Studies Language Study Grant for Hebrew Language, Summer 2003

Selected Publications

Book Manuscripts in Preparation

  • Imagined Histories, Invented Identities: Racial Theories and Orientalism among Modern Central European Jews
  • A Documentary History of Jewish Life in Modern Hungary


  • “Hungarian Nationalism and the Origins of Neolog Judaism” 
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, Volume 18, Issue 2, (November 2014) 67-82
  • “The Racial Option in Modern Jewish Thought: The Case of Hungarian Jews.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, (12.1: 2013) 17-34
  • “Zionism, Secularism, Judaism: The case of Gershom Sholem and Walter Benjamin.” Secular Culture and Ideas (October 2011) Online
  • “Képzelt rokonok?: ahogy egy zsidó kisebbség látta a magyarságot a múlt század végén (Imagined affinities? A minority’s view of the majority in Hungary at the Turn of the Century).” Journal of History, University of Pécs, Hungary (2011) 51-61
  • “The Absentee Traveler, North American Academia, Central European Minorities and the Cold War: The Case of Hungarian Jews.” Journal of History 2011, Institute of History, Jagellonian University, Poland
  • “Guttmann’s Critique of Strauss’s Modernist Approach to Medieval Philosophy: Some Arguments Toward a Counter-Critique.” Textual Reasoning 3.1 (June 2004) Online 

Book reviews

  • Review of “Holocaust”: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews, by Peter Longerich (Oxford University Press, 2009). The Human Rights Review (2012:13 (3)) 417-9
  • Review of Approaching a Holocaust Survivor: Holocaust Testimony and its Transformations, edited by Jurgen Matthaeus (Oxford University Press, 2009). The Human Rights Review (2011/12) 257-8