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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Department of Religious Studies has been selected to host a Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Professor Alec Mishory is an art historian, author and lecturer at the Open University in Tel Aviv, Israel. Mishory has spent the last year as a Schusterman visiting professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas. During the coming year, he will teach and lecture at UT and participate in outreach efforts to campus organizations and Knoxville’s Jewish community.

This is the third consecutive year that UT Knoxville has been selected to host a Schusterman visiting professor. Only 20 American universities are chosen each year for the program, which is funded by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled that Professor Mishory will be joining us for the next year,” said Gilya Schmidt, professor of religious studies and director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies. “His deep knowledge of art history, including European, American, Israeli and Jewish secular and religious visual culture, will be a wonderful resource for our students, our faculty and staff, and the entire Knoxville community.”

Mishory will teach courses on Jewish and Israeli art each semester during the academic year. He holds a doctorate in art history from the City University of New York, a master’s in art history from Tel Aviv University and a bachelor’s in fine art and art education from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. He has lectured at Hunter College in New York and the State Art Teachers’ College and Beer Sheva Teachers’ College in Israel.

In addition to his academic posts, Mishory was art adviser to the Office of the President of Israel and served in the cultural affairs division of the Israeli government’s Ministry of Education and Culture. He also was the art critic for “Haaretz,” the daily Israeli newspaper, curated several exhibits of contemporary Israeli art and crafts and published extensively on themes and subjects in Jewish-Israeli visual culture.

C O N T A C T :

Gilya Schmidt, UT Knoxville Department of Religious Studies (865-974-2466, gschmidt@utk.edu)

Charles Primm, UT Knoxville Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180, primmc@utk.edu)