Evelyn TortonBeck

Evelyn Torton Beck made contributions to women’s studies and the Jewish community through her scholarship and her efforts to ensure lesbian inclusion in Jewish life. Beck’s academic explorations have ranged from studying Jewish elements in the work of Franz Kafka and Frieda Kahlo to analyzing the misogyny and anti-Semitism of the term JAP. She also edited the revolutionary Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology, which collected essays, poetry, and fiction by Jewish lesbians. She started the Yiddish section of the Modern Language Association in 1972, long before the modern Yiddish revival movement, and was a member of B’not Esh, a Jewish feminist collective. She also served on the advisory editorial board for Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends. She taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1969, when she earned her PhD there, until 1984, when the University of Maryland, College Park hired her to develop their women’s studies program. While teaching at UMCP, she worked to make the campus more inclusive of Jewish students and faculty as well as gays and lesbians. She stepped down as director in 1993 but continued to teach until 2002, when she became professor emerita.


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Writer, editor, professor, activist, and administrator, Evelyn Torton Beck.

Courtesy of Torton Beck.

Date of Birth


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Evelyn Torton Beck." (Viewed on January 20, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/beck-evelyn>.


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