Prof. Dr. Tamar El-Or

Visiting Professor 01.04.2022–30.06.2022

portrait tamar el-or
Prof. Dr. Tamar El-Or

Dr. Tamar El-Or is visiting professor at the Department of Religious Studies and the Faculty of Theology (UZH). She is the Sarah Allen Shaine Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 2013, she held the Sigi Feigel Visiting Professorship for Jewish Studies at the University of Zurich. Tamar El-Or’s academic interests lie at the intersection between gender, culture and knowledge. Her PhD dissertation was a pioneering study of ultra-Orthodox women in Israel.

Professor El-Or's fieldwork and findings on the ultra-Orthodox community led to research on the modern (national) Orthodox and Sephardic Mizrahi communities in Israel. The results are a trilogy of monographs on gender, religion, and the meanings of knowing, including the monograph Reserved Seats: Religion, Gender, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Israel.

Current Research

Over the last ten years, Professor El-Or turned to research on material culture and style, focusing on 20th century Israeli popular culture and its ramifications with national identity building and religion.

A project titled “The Soul of the Biblical Sandal” was followed by “Society, Memory, Garbage”, in collaboration with Dr. Assaf Nativ and Arbel Levi, a multi-disciplinary project that includes an archeological excavation at the first landfill of Tel Aviv.

It is this openminded and creative interest for interdisciplinarity, together with excellent memories of her 2013 stay at UZH both among students and peers, which prompted the Faculty of Theology to invite Tamar El-Or’s once more, now as an Inge Strauch Visiting Professor.

Outreach Activities

Professor El-Or’s research reached a wide audience through several public exhibitions, including:

  • Meta-Sex 94: Identity, Body and Sexuality (1994)
  • The Sandal: Anthropology of local style (2018)
  • The Pit: Artifacts raised up from the belly of the earth (2021)