The YRIHS is delighted to welcome Shaun Halper to Yale. A Postdoctoral Associate in Judaic Studies, his research concerns the history of Jewish homosexual thought and activism, and he will participate in the activities of the Initiative.
Shaun Jacob Halper is the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Associate in Judaic Studies and Lecturer in History at Yale. He recently completed his PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in the history of the Jews in modern Europe and the state of Israel, as well as the history of sexuality. His dissertation, “Mordechai Langer (1897-1943) and the Birth of the Modern Jewish Homosexual,” is a study of the first distinctly Jewish and Zionist homosexuality formulated by Mordechai Langer in the 1920s in response to the anti-semitism that divided the German homosexual rights movement. Drawing on a wide-range of pre-modern Jewish sources as well as ideas and forms of argument used by contemporary homosexual authors, Langer outlined a history of male-male love among Jews since antiquity, he represented the male homosexual experience in Hebrew poetry, and he reconciled Judaism with homosexuality for the first time. Shaun began studying Jewish history and the history of sexuality at Columbia University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.