University of Oklahoma

Norman A. StillmanNorman (Noam) A. Stillman is the Schusterman/Josey Professor of Judaic History at the University of Oklahoma, and is an internationally recognized authority on the history and culture of the Islamic world and on Sephardi and Oriental Jewry. Professor Stillman received his B.A. (magnum cum laude) and Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles in several languages. His book The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, a sequel to his highly acclaimed The Jews of Arab Lands: a History and Source Book (Jewish Publication Society, 1979 and 1991) was nominated for the National Jewish Book Award. Among his other books is Sephardi Religious Responses to Modernity (Harwood Academic Press, 1995) and The Language and Culture of the Jews of Sefrou (University of Manchester Press, 1987). He is the Executive Editor of the award-winning five-volume Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (Brill, 2010 and continuing online), and he is currently finishing a book on Jewish Community and Society in North Africa for the University of California Press.

Professor Stillman was editor of the AJS Review, the journal of the Association for Jewish Studies from 1989-1999. He has traveled widely throughout the Middle East and North Africa and frequently lectures there, as well as in Europe and the United States. He has received numerous academic honors including: Phi Beta Kappa, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY-Binghamton award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and he delivered the prestigious Momigliano Lectures for the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and the Sherman Lectures for the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. During the academic year 1994/95, he was Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and during the spring of 1995, he was also a visiting fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel-Aviv University. He was the recipient of Ohio State University Melton Center’s Distinguished Humanist award in the spring of 2000. He was Rothberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in the spring of 2000 and again in the spring of 2010. During the academic year 2001/2002, he was Visiting Scholar in the Center for Maghrebi Berber and Arabic Studies at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris. He is a board member and consultant to many Jewish and general organizations, which includes his consultancy for HUC-JIR’s initiative for the integration of Sephardi/Mizraḥi Studies into the curriculum. During the Spring and Summer of 2011, he will be the Allianz Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Munich.

Professor Stillman was married to the late Yedida Kalfon Stillman, Professor of Near Eastern History and Languages, also at the University of Oklahoma, with whom he worked closely. The Stillmans collaborated on numerous projects and published two books together, an English edition of Samuel Romanelli’s 17th-century Hebrew classic,Travail in an Arab Land (University of Alabama Press, 1989), which describes his four years in Morocco, and From Iberia to Diaspora (Brill, 1998). The Stillmans’ edition of Romanelli was chosen as an Alternate Selection of the Jewish Book Club and nominated for a National Translation Award. He also edited with her a book, entitled From Iberia to Diaspora: Studies in Sephardic History and Culture. He also finished editing her book Arab Dress: a Short History which appeared in 2000 and in an expanded second edition in 2003.

Professor Stillman is now married to Dinah Assouline Stillman, who teaches French at the University of Oklahoma and is a specialist on French Francophone cinema and Sephardi popular culture in France.

Lectures:

  • Corporal Modesty in Judaism and Islam
  • Jewish and Islamic Languages
  • Jews and Muslims: The Historical Encounter
  • Jews of Morocco
  • Judaism and Islam: Fourteen Hundred Years of Intertwined Destiny?
  • Judeo-Arabic
  • The Cairo Geniza and the Majesty of the Ordinary
  • When Arabic was a Jewish Language