Photo of Shawna Dolansky

Shawna Dolansky

Associate Professor - On Sabbatical

Degrees:B.A. (Hon.) (Queen's University), M.A., Ph.D. (UC San Diego)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 7029
Office:2A60 Paterson Hall



Professor Dolansky specializes in Biblical Studies, with a focus on the history and religions of Israel and the ancient Near East and the development of the Hebrew Bible.  Her research incorporates the tools of literary criticism, comparative religion, historical study, anthropology, archaeology, political science and classics in order to understand the worlds of the original authors and audiences of the biblical texts, and the subsequent development of Judaism and Christianity out of ancient Israelite religious beliefs and practices.

Professor Dolansky earned a B.A.(Hons.) in History from Queen’s University, and a M.A. in Jewish Studies and a Ph.D. in the history of biblical Israel from the University of California at San Diego.

The recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, Professor Dolansky is currently working with SSHRC support on a large-scale website called Women of the Ancient World ( She is on the editorial board for Near Eastern Archaeology, and in addition to books and journal articles (samples below) is a public scholar with a variety of accessible articles published on, and

Research Interests

  • Women in the Ancient World
  • Gendered historiography
  • History of biblical interpretation
  • Understanding the Bible in its original contexts
  • The Bible in Western culture

Selected Publications

Gendered Historiography: Theoretical Considerations and Case Studies, edited with Sarah Shectman, in The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Vol. 19, 2019.

“The Epic Bible: The Authorization of Collective Identity in Exile and Defeat,” (with Sarah Cook) invited contribution to The Epic World, a “Routledge Worlds” collection, edited by Pamela Lothspeich, Routledge, 2023 (forthcoming).

“Interpreting Iconography: A Polysemic and Multivalent Approach to Understanding Judean Pillar Figurines” pp. 137-171 in Epigraphy, Iconography, and the Bible, Meir and Edith Lubetski eds., Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2021.

“Rejecting ‘Patriarchy’: Reflections on Feminism, Biblical Scholarship, and Social Perspective” pp. 133- 148 in Scribes and Scribalism. Ed. Mark Leuchter. Hebrew Bible in Social Perspective. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.

The Bible Now (with co-author Richard Elliott Friedman), Oxford University Press, June 2011.

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Biblical Perspectives on the Relationship Between Religion and Magic, Pryor Pettengill Press, Eisenbrauns, 2008.