Beth A. Berkowitz (B.A. and Ph.D., Columbia University; M.A. University of Chicago) is Ingeborg Rennert Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Barnard College. Her area of specialization is cultural criticism of classical rabbinic literature, and her interests include the construction of rabbinic authority, the dynamics of Jewish identity, and animal studies. She is the author of Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2006, winner of the Salo Baron Prize for Outstanding First Book in Jewish Studies) and Defining Jewish Difference: From Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012). She has published articles in the Journal for the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of Jewish Studies, Jewish Quarterly Review, the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, AJS Review, and Biblical Interpretation. She was a professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 2004-2012 and has held post-doctoral fellowships in Yale University's Program in Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and New York University Law School's Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization. She is a member of the steering committee for the History of Judaism section of the American Academy of Religion and the co-chair of the Rabbinics division of the Association for Jewish Studies, as well as a member of its board. She is currently working on a translation and annotation for Mishnah Tractate Sanhedrin and on a book integrating animal studies with rabbinics.