Professor, Comparative Religious Studies
Ph.D. in Anthropology, U.C. Berkeley
Prof. Amiras founded and has coordinated the Middle East Studies Program since 1987.
Her geographical area of expertise is the Middle East and North Africa, and her courses
include Magic, Science and Religion; Middle Eastern Traditions; Islam, Politics and
the West; Jews, Zionism and the State; Jewish Mysticism, Magic and Folklore.
The author of Development and Disenchantment in Rural Tunisia: The Bourguiba Years (1992), her current research is on Amazigh (Berber) identity and language revitalization
in North Africa and in the Amazigh diaspora.
Lecturer, History and Religious Studies
ABD, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
Bruce Bramlett teaches Holocaust and genocide studies in schools throughout the South
Bay, and offers courses on these topics and on modern European Jewish History at Sonoma
State and SJSU. He is Associate Director for the Helen and Joe Farkas Center for Holocaust
Studies, located at Mercy High School in San Francisco.
Professor, Political Science
Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia
Constantine Danopoulos teaches a wide range of courses in international relations
and comparative politics. He has received the 2003–04 Professor of the Year from Pi
Sigma Alpha of the SJSU Political Science Department and is the recipient of the David
Ben Gurion Medal for Academic Leadership from Sde Boker, Israel (1999).
Author of numerous articles on civil-military relations and Warriors and Politicians in Modern Greece (1984).
Jewish Studies Program Coordinator
Ph.D. in English, Rutgers University
Victoria Harrison coordinates the Jewish Studies Program, bringing cohesion and interdisciplinary
commitment to the minor and working closely with Hillel and the larger community to
extend programming as widely as possible.
Author of essays on American and Jewish-American literatures and Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics of Intimacy (Cambridge 1993).
Lecturer, Jewish Studies
Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
Donny Inbar's research focuses on the roots and birth of Jewish show business and
Yiddish theater. He has lectured, taught, and published extensively on Jewish and
Israeli arts and culture and on the Hebrew Bible. In Israel he led two parallel careers
in Israeli theater and media, and translated plays, prose and poetry. In San Francisco
he served as the Cultural Attaché at the Consulate General of Israel. He now serves
as Associate Director for Arts and Culture at the Israel Center of the San Francisco-based
Jewish Community Federation.
Lecturer, Hebrew Language
Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaica Study, U.C. Berkeley
One of the two founding Jewish Studies Program faculty members, Mrs. Katzen has been
teaching Hebrew at SJSU for thirty-eight years. She can be credited with keeping the
Jewish Studies Program alive through her commitment to her teaching and to the program.
Professor of English
Ph.D., University of Washington
David Mesher's academic scholarship focuses mostly on Jewish writers. He taught for
five years at Tel Aviv University and has written several essays in Hebrew for Israeli
publications. Earning the 2001–02 College of Humanities Award for Innovative Teaching,
Prof. Mesher teaches courses in world literatures, American literature, Holocaust
literature; new to his repertoire is a freshman seminar on the history, culture and
strategies of board games.
Professor of History
Ph.D., Columbia University
Professor Roth's academic focus is ancient military history, especially that of the
Roman Imperial Army, first century Judaism and Christianity from a historical perspective,
and race and ethnicity in antiquity. He earned SJSU's Outstanding Professor award
for 2005-06. He directs the Burdick Military History Project at SJSU.
Author of numerous articles on ancient military history and Roman Warfare (Cambridge,
2009), Professor Roth has also created a course for the Teaching Company--48 half-hour
lectures on War and World History, available on DVD and CD.
Professor and Acting Chair, Department of History
Ph.D., Columbia University
Dr. George Vásquez has lived and worked in the Middle East and has taught several
courses on the region. He has written on the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia for The Middle East Magazine. At SJSU he has taught courses on the history of Islam and the First Gulf War. He
has also taught a graduate seminar on the Contemporary Middle East. Dr. Vásquez holds
a PhD in Modern European History from Columbia University and has written on historiography
and Latin American intellectual history. He has directed three NEH seminars at SJSU
on Latin American Nationalism. During the 2012–13 he will be Acting Chair of the Department
Lecturer, Comparative Religious Studies
M.A. in Theology, Boston Theological Institute
“Better than an iPod, more meaningful than a boyfriend, more helpful than Wikipedia”
(RateMyProfessor.com comment for Mr. Walters). Earning the highest ratings possible
from his students, Mr. Walters brings his extensive knowledge and passion to bear
on his subject: the Bible and Biblical history. A collector of early Judeo/Christian
writings about religion, philosophy, science, medicine, literature, and the arts,
his private library—which he began building at age 15—numbers 85,000 pieces.
Associate Professor of English
Doctor of Arts in English, University of Michigan
After graduating from high school, Mary Warner entered the School sisters of Notre
Dame, where she pursued a degree in English and English Education. She taught in Catholic
high schools for nine years, working in Cresco, IA, and New England, ND. She earned
her Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and subsequently taught
at Black Hills State (composition, English methods, Foundations of American Education),
supervised student teachers, and advised a Native American high school 130 miles from
Black Hills State. She later taught at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.
Currently an Associate Professor of English at San José State University, Mary Warner
is the author of “Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource
Lecturer, Art History and American Studies
Ph.D., University of Southern California
Professor Wyman's areas of interest include American, Modern, and African Art as well
as studies in American culture. She has published and delivered numerous papers on
the art of indigenous and/or marginalized cultures within the US and in Africa. With
a Koret grant, she has created a digital archive of several thousand images for use
in her Jewish Art and her American Jewish Art courses.