July 29, 2022
Speaking with Religion News Service, Senior Research Fellow Julia Watts Belser joins other disability leaders, scholars, and activists to discuss how religious spaces can take steps to become more accessible.
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Julia Watts Belser is an associate professor of Jewish studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University and core faculty in Georgetown's Disability Studies Program, as well as a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center. Her research centers on gender, sexuality, and disability in classical Jewish texts, as well as queer feminist disability ethics. She is the author of Rabbinic Tales of Destruction: Gender, Sex, and Disability in the Ruins of Jerusalem (Oxford University Press, 2018). She has held faculty fellowships at Harvard Divinity School and the Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an ordained rabbi, as well as a longtime activist for disability, LGBTQ, and gender justice. She co-authored an international Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, developed in collaboration with disability activists from 42 countries and translated into 14 languages. She currently directs Disability and Climate Change: A Public Archive Project, an initiative which brings together stories from disability activists, artists, first responders, policymakers, and others to bear witness to the harms disabled people face amidst climate disruption and document the wisdom disabled people bring to navigating this crisis. She previously taught a class supported through the Berkley Center's Doyle Seminars project.