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Grant number like: FB-51554-05

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Susan Ruth Niditch
Amherst College (Amherst, MA 01002-2372)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

Hair as a Cultural Code in Ancient Israel

The body is a template; the body is a statement of rebellion or convention, individual attitude or group identity. I will study one feature of the body in Israelite tradition, hair. Drawing upon biblical and extra-biblical evidence and upon contemporary work concerning the body and hair by scholars in religious studies, women's studies, anthropology, and ancient Near Eastern studies, I will explore this complex symbol drawn from the body within a multi-disciplinary and comparative framework. Major foci are the trajectory shared by maleness, warrior status, charismatic holiness, and hairiness and the ways in which the cutting or loosening of women's hair by men reveals much about gender and the place of women in a world imagined by men.