Laura Suzanne Lieber

Laura Suzanne Lieber

Professor of Religious Studies

(919) 660-3504

My primary area of research is in the area of synagogue poetry ("piyyut") from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. I examine these works from a variety of perspectives, including literary, performative, and comparative (particularly with early Christian hymnography in Syriac and Greek), and also as a genre of early Jewish biblical interpretation. In recent years, I have begun to integrate the study of material culture into my analysis of these literary works, as part of taking a more fully "contextual" approach to literary analysis. My most recent work approaches late ancient hymnography through the lens of theater studies and performance.

Education & Training:

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 2003

  • M.A., Hebrew Union College 1998

  • B.A., University of Arkansas at Fayetteville 1994

Lieber, L. S. “Entering the High Holy Days.” Mishkan Ha-Nefesh, Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2015, pp. xvii–xix.

Lieber, L. S. “Piyyut (Jewish Liturgical and Secular Poetry).” The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, Blackwell, 2015.

Lieber, Laura S. The Piyyutim le-Hatan of Qallir and Amittai - Jewish Marriage Customs in Early Byzantium. Edited by S. Fine and A. Koller, vol. 73, WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH, 2014, pp. 275–99.

Lieber, L. S. “The Poetry of Creation: Zevadiah and Amittai’s Yotzerot le-Hatan (Groom’s Yotzers).” Recent Developments in Midrash, edited by David Nelson and Rikva Ulmer, Gorgias Press, 2013.

Lieber, L. S. “Kedushah.” Cambridge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited by Lisbeth Fried et al., Cambridge UP, 2013.

Lieber, L. S. “Jewish Women: Texts and Contexts.” A Companion to Women in the Ancient World, 2012, pp. 329–42. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9781444355024.ch24. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “Piyyut.” Oxford Bibliographies Online, Oxford UP, 2012.

Lieber, L. S. “Piyyut (Jewish Liturgical and Secular Poetry).” The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, Blackwell / Oxford UP, 2012.

Lieber, L. S. “Jewish Women.” The Blackwell Companion to Women in the Ancient World, edited by Sheila Dillon and Sharon James, Blackwell / Oxford UP, 2011, pp. 329–42.

Lieber, L. S. “Piyyut.” Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History, and Culture, edited by Judith Baskin, Cambridge UP, 2011, pp. 479–80.


Lieber, L. S. “With One Voice: Elements of Acclamation in Early Jewish Liturgical Poetry.” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 111, no. 3, July 2018, pp. 401–24. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0017816018000172. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “Daru in the winehouse: The intersection of status and dance in the Jewish east.” Journal of Religion, vol. 98, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 90–113. Scopus, doi:10.1086/694658. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “Jewish Aramaic poetry from late antiquity: Translations and commentaries.” Etudes Sur Le Judaisme Medieval, vol. 75, Jan. 2018, pp. 1–245. Scopus, doi:10.1163/9789004365896_002. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “On the road with the mater Dolorosa: An exploration of mother-son discourse performance.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, vol. 24, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 265–91. Scopus, doi:10.1353/earl.2016.0021. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “Stages of Grief: Enacting Lamentation in Late Ancient Hymnography.” Ajs Review, vol. 40, no. 1, Apr. 2016, pp. 101–24. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0364009416000064. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “Theater of the Holy: Performative Elements of Late Ancient Hymnography.” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 108, no. 3, Jan. 2015, pp. 327–55. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S001781601500022X. Full Text

Lieber, L. S. “From the Margins: A Response to ‘Schoeps on Schoeps’.” Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies, vol. 2, 2015, pp. 33–36.

Lieber, L. S. “The Plot within the Piyyut: Retelling the Story of Balak on the Liturgical Stage.” The Journal for Textual Reasoning, vol. 8, 2014.

Lieber, L. S. “Setting the stage: The theatricality of Jewish Aramaic poetry from late antiquity.” Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 104, no. 4, Jan. 2014, pp. 537–72. Scopus, doi:10.1353/jqr.2014.0039. Full Text

Lieber, L. “Telling a Liturgical Tale: Storytelling in Early Jewish Liturgical Poetry.” Zeitschrift Fur Religions  Und Geistesgeschichte, vol. 66, no. 3–4, Jan. 2014, pp. 209–32. Scopus, doi:10.1163/15700739-90000128. Full Text