Office: Hazel Gates Woodruff College, Room 207
Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies and Jewish Studies
Areas of research related to Jewish Studies:
Contemporary American Judaism; Interfaith Marriage; the Jewish Family in the United States; Religion, Reproduction, and Politics; Judaism and Sexuality; Religious Diversity in the United States
Jewish Feminisms: From Labor Marches to Women’s Marches (WGST 3702-002), Religion and Reproductive Politics in the United States
God Bless the Pill: Contraception and Sexuality in Tri-Faith America (under contract with UNC Press)
The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays (forthcoming from Beacon Press, October 2023)
"Asian American Jews, Race, and Religious Identity,” in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2021).
“The Changing Jewish Family: Jewish Communal Responses to Interfaith and Same-Sex Marriage,” with Brett Krutzsch. American Jewish History (2020).
“Christmas in the Room: Gender, Conflict, and Compromise in Multi-Religious Domestic Space,” Religions 11 (2020).
“Prescribing the Diaphragm: Protestants, Jews, Catholics, and a Changing Culture of Contraception,” American Religion (2020).
“You are Jewish if You Want to Be: The Limits of Identity in a World of Multiple Religious Practices,” in Beyond Jewish Identity, eds. Jon Levisohn and Ari Y. Kelman (Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2019).
Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian–Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018).
“Religion, Modernity, and Assimilation in America” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America, ed. John Corrigan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
“Race and American Judaism,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America, ed. John Corrigan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
“Family Planning is a Christian Duty: Religion, Population Control, and the Pill in the 1960s,” in Devotions and Desires: Histories of Sexuality and Religion in the 20thCentury United States, eds. Gillian Frank, Bethany Moreton, and Heather White (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), 152-169.
“Chrismukkah: Multicultural Millennialism,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 25, no. 1 (2015): 82-109.
“I Chose Judaism, but Christmas Cookies Chose Me: Food, Identity, and Familial Religious Practice in Christian/Jewish Blended Families,” in Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, ed. Benjamin E. Zeller et al (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).
About Prof. Mehta:
Samira K. Mehta is an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and of Jewish Studies. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections religion, culture, and gender, including the politics of family life and reproduction in the United States. Her first book, Beyond Chrismukkah: The Christian-Jewish Blended Family in America(University of North Carolina Press, 2018) was a National Jewish book award finalist. Mehta’s current project, God Bless the Pill? Sexuality, Contraception, and American Religion examines the role of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant voices in competing moral logics of contraception, population control, and eugenics from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Research from this project appears in “Family Planning is a Christian Duty: Religion, Population Control, and the Pill in the 1960s” from Devotions and Desires: Histories of Sexuality and Religion in the Twentieth- Century United States. She is the co-chair of the Religions and Families in North America Seminar of the American Academy of Religion and serves on the steering committee of the North American Religions Program Unit of the AAR. She is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of the Association for Jewish Studies.
Mehta has held fellowships from the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Sloan Foundation’s Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life, the American Jewish Archives, and the Northeastern Regional Fellowship Consortium, among others. Mehta holds degrees from Emory University, Harvard University, and Swarthmore College.