University of Rochester
Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellow

Research Topic

Signing Judaism: Moses Mendelssohn’s “Living Script” and Deaf/Jewish Emancipation


Emma Brodeur’s research spans the fields of religion, philosophy, and psychoanalysis with a focus on modern Jewish thought and culture. In particular, she draws on aesthetics (the study of the senses) to analyze the bodily, sensory, and affective dimensions of Jewish identities in modern Europe. At the Katz Center, she will compare Moses Mendelssohn’s thought on Judaism, the origin of languages, and stuttering to debates about the development and use of Deaf sign languages in eighteenth-century Europe. Brodeur earned her Ph.D. in Religion at Syracuse University with a dissertation titled, “Sigmund Freud’s Dreams of Jewishness.” She previously taught at Syracuse University and the University of Rochester.

Selected publications

Symposium on Vered Lev Kenaan’s, The Ancient Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and the Classical Text, “Introduction,” Syndicate (2021).

“The Birth of Modern Anatomy: Anti-Ritual Rhetoric,” ARC The Journal for the Faculty of McGill University (2009).



This year is devoted to the study of sound and music as a part of Jewish life, and we are delighted to announce the cohort of scholars who will join us for a year of research, conversation, and engagement with the Penn community and with the public.