Nan Goodman
Director of the Program in Jewish Studies
English • Jewish Studies

 Office: Denison 226

Access Nan Goodman's CV here

Director of the Program in Jewish Studies, Professor of English

Areas of research related to Jewish Studies:

Early modern Jewry, history of the Covenant, Turkish-Jewish history and culture, varieties of Jewish experience


Global Seminar: Jews and Muslims: The Multi-Ethnic Diversity of Istanbul (JWST/IAFS/RLST 3530)

Recent Publications: 

“”What about Peace?”: Cotton Mather’s Millennium and the Rise of International Law” in Law and the Utopian Imagination (Stanford Univeristy Press, 2014)

About Prof. Goodman:

With a PhD from Harvard (1992) and a JD from Stanford (1985), Goodman works at the intersection of the law and the humanities.  She is rostered in the English Department at CU, has taught at CU’s law school, and in the spring of 2011 served as a Visiting Professor of Law and the Humanities at Georgetown Law Center.  Her first book, Shifting the Blame:  Literature, Law, and the Theory of Accidents (Princeton UP, 1994) is a study of the way in which ideas about fault and accountability began to shift in nineteenth-century American literature and the law.  In more recent years, her research has moved back in time to the early modern period.  Her second book, Banished:  Common Law and the Rhetoric of Social Exclusion (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) examines the way the Puritans of seventeenth-century New England, who were infamous for their exclusivity, shaped communities that challenged prevailing legal conceptions about membership and paradoxically paved the way for more inclusive measures. She is the co-editor of a collection of essays on American religion entitled, The Turn Around Religion in America (Ashgate, 2011) and the editor of a special issue of English Language Notesentitled “Juris-dictions” (2010).  Goodman is also on the Editorial board of English Language Notes. She has published multiple articles on the law and literature of America in journals such as American Literary HistoryLaw, Culture and the Humanities, and Early American Studies, as well as in several edited collections, including Native Acts: Indian Performance in Early North America (University of Nebraska Press, 2011), Teaching Law and Literature (MLA, 2011), and Law and the Utopian Imagination (Stanford University Press, 2014).

Her work as a scholar of Jewish literature and culture has two branches.  One revolves around the Jewish origins of Western civilization, and more specifically, in the interpretation and application of Hebrew and Jewish sources in early modern England and the Atlantic world.  Her current book project, The Puritan Cosmopolis, engages the idea of the covenant in the Hebrew Bible as understood by the Puritans in early New England.  As its title suggests, The Puritan Cosmopolis concerns the idea of cosmopolitanism in the Puritan world, which Goodman traces in part to the law of nations and to Jewish approaches to international law.

The other branch of Goodman’s research in Jewish studies concerns the lives of Jews in the Ottoman Empire.  With John Freely, she is co-authoring a book entitled, Halfway to Jerusalem:  Varieties of Jewish Experience in Turkey, which addresses the extraordinary diversity of Jewish life and religious practice among Jews in the Eastern Mediterranean for over 500 years.  Goodman served as a Fulbright Scholar in Istanbul at Boğaziçi University in the spring of 2014 and is actively involved with the Jewish community and Jewish studies in Turkey.

Goodman is also currently co-editing a volume on law and humanities in nineteenth-century America (Ashgate, forthcoming).