Associate Professor
College of Arts & Letters

Amy Milligan

NORFOLK, 23529

Dr. Amy K. Milligan is the Batten Endowed Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's and Gender Studies and the director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding. She is an ethnographer and folklorist who specializes in the study of small or marginalized Jewish communities with a concentration on the American South and Alabama. Her work considers the nuances of the body, gender, and sexuality, while simultaneously exploring the intersections of memory, culture, and history. Ultimately, her research brings forward the often overlooked voices of women, small community Jews, and those who exist and thrive on cultural margins.

Dr. Milligan also serves on the leadership committee of ODU's Jewish Caucus for faculty and staff and as the faculty mentor for ODU Hillel, the Jewish student organization.

Ph.D. in American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, (2012)


Judaism, Holocaust, Antisemitism, Interfaith
Social History
Folklore, Oral History, Ethnography, Alabama, American South


Milligan, A. (2023). Continuous Hope: The Jews of Selma, Alabama. Mosaic: The Alabama Humanities Alliance , pp. 28-30.
Milligan, A. (2023). Witnessing History: Civil Rights and the Jewish Community of Selma, Alabama.. Southern Jewish History , pp. 83-116.
Milligan, A. (2020). Creating Jewish Mothers: A Feminist Ethnographic Investigation of the Interfaith Parenting Circle. Nashim (37) , pp. 37-61 .
Milligan, A. (2019). Embodying Herself: A Jewish Feminist Approach to Body Liberation. , pp. 42-43.
Milligan, A. (2018). The Jewish Zealots of Tobacco Land: The Circuit Riding Rabbi Project’s Impact on Small Town Jews in North Carolina, 1950-1980. Jewish Culture and History.
Milligan, A. (2017). Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Upsherin, Alef-Bet, and the Childhood Navigation of Jewish Gender Identity Symbol Sets. Journal of Children's Folklore 38 , pp. 7-26.
Milligan, A. (2017). Styling Yiddishkeit: Jewish Women and Social-Religious Approaches to Hair and Hair Covering. Jüdisches Museum Berlin Journal 16 , pp. 21-25.
Milligan, A. (2014). Expanding Sisterhood: Jewish Lesbians and Externalizations of Yiddishkeit,. Journal of Lesbian Studies 18 (4) , pp. 437-455.


Milligan, A. (2019). Jewish Bodylore: Feminist and Queer Ethnographies of Folk Practices. Lexington Books.
Milligan, A. (2014). Hair, Headwear, and Orthodox Jewish Women: Kallah’s Choice. Lexington Books.

Book Chapters

Milligan, A. (2023). 21st Century Rituals and Customs. The Routledge Handbook of Judaism in the Twenty-First Century. (pp. 291-304) New York: Routledge.
Milligan, A. (2022). Hair The Routledge Handbook of Jewish Ritual and Practice (pp. 327-334) New York: Routledge.
Milligan, A. (2019). The Subversive Jewish Feminist Body: Creating Spaces of Protest through Embodiment in Synagogue Life Making Gender in the Intersection of the Human and the Divine (pp. 219-235) Cambridge Scholars Press.
Milligan, A. (2018). Bodylore and Dress The Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies New York: Oxford University Press.
Milligan, A. (2018). Settings of Silver: the Feminization of the Sabbath, 1920-1945 Connected Jews: Expressions of Community in Analog and Digital Culture (pp. 69-88) New York: Liverpool University Press.
Milligan, A. (2011). Orthodox Judaism: The Shulchan Arukh (pp. 958-971) Dallas, TX: Schlager Group.
  • 2023: Robert L. Stern Excellence in Teaching Award, Old Dominion University - Arts and Letters
  • 2023: Alabama Jewish Folklife Fellowship, Alabama Folklife Association
  • 2023: Frances S. Summersell Reserach Fellowship for the Study of the South, University of Alabama
  • 2022: Rabbi Ferdinand Isserman Memorial Research Fellowship, American Jewish Archives
  • 2022: Wilson Research Fellowship, University of North Carolina Wilson Library
  • 2020: Jeffrey B. Spence Award for Interfaith Understanding, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • 2019: Shining Star Award for Teaching, Old Dominion University
  • 2019: NEH Summer Institute, Privilege and Prejudice: Jewish History in the American South
  • 2019: People to Watch, Penn State University Alumni Association-Harrisburg
  • 2019: Rabbi Theodore S. Levy Tribute Fellowship, American Jewish Archives
  • 2019: Scholar in Residence, Congregation Beth Israel
  • 2019: Southern Jewish Historical Society Research Grant,
  • 2019: Summer Research Fellowship Program Grant, Old Dominion University
  • 2019: Community Leader Award for Unity, Service, and Leadership, The Urban League of Hampton Roads
  • 2018: Innovative Scholarship Award, Association for Jewish Studies Women's Caucus
  • 2018: John R. Broderick Diversity Champion Award, Old Dominion University
  • 2018: Summer Institute on Genocide Studies and Prevention (selected as one of 18), Keene State College
  • 2017: Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar on Gender and Sexuality in the Holocaust, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. (20 selected nationwide), Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar
  • 2017: Jim and Diane Shneer Fellowship in Post-Holocaust American Judaism, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • 2017: Rubenstein Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies, Duke University
  • 2014: American Academy of Religion: The Status of Women; LGBTIQ Persons; Racial, Ethnic and Minority Persons; and Persons with Disabilities in the Profession, Program Participant (30 selected nationwide), American Academy of Religion
  • 2014: Interfaith Leadership and Service Award, Elizabethtown College
  • 2013: Called to Lead: Leadership Excellence Award for Student Group Adviser and Mentor, Elizabethtown College
  • 2013: Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Award, Elizabethtown College
  • 2012: Sue Samuelson Award for Academic Excellence in American Studies, Penn State University – Harrisburg
  • 2011: Raphael Patai Prize in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology, American Folklore Society and American Anthropological Association