Reed CollegeLaura Leibman

Laura Leibman is a Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  Her book Messianism, Secrecy, and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (2012) won a National Jewish Book Award, a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award, and was selected as one of Choice journal’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013.  She has written numerous articles on early American life and material culture. In addition to her print work, she curates the American Passages: A Literary Survey (2002). She is currently completing two books: Once We Were Slaves about a family that began their lives as slaves in Barbados and ended up some of the wealthiest Jews in New York and The Art of the Jewish Family on five objects owned by early Jewish women.


  • Love Affairs: Marriage, Race, and Early American Jews
  • Mystical Poetry and the Origins of Jewish American Literature
  • Clothing and Manhood in the Sephardic Caribbean
  • From Slave to Merchant Princess: Religion and Racial Shift