PROF: A Pilot Script
About Malka Zeiger
I serve as the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and the director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. I’m also a literary historian, and the author of The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria (2016), and Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism (2018), which received the 2019 AJL Judaica Reference Honor Award. My articles have been published in journals such as the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, as well as on online forums such as The Lehrhaus, TheTorah.com, and the Times of Israel. I like to explore various ideas that I’m working on through experimental fiction which pushes boundaries and plays with scenarios in ways that non-fiction writing doesn’t accommodate.
About PROF: A Pilot Script
My script is a pilot episode of a show named PROF which tells the story of Julie Fried, a thirty-something tenure-track professor of musicology who teaches at a liberal arts college in upstate New York. When Julie is accused by a student named Kayla Wallace of discrimination, a university tribunal is assembled to investigate the case. The events surrounding the case, however, are eclipsed by a text message that Campus Security sends out on the morning of Julie’s hearing notifying the campus community that a student named Andrew Fine, the only other student mentioned in Kayla’s discrimination complaint, has gone missing. Julie soon discovers that her problems are more complicated than she had previously thought – and the only way to exonerate herself is to locate Andrew Fine.The script that I have written explores questions related to Jewish liberal identity as they might play out on college campuses, where Jewish students have become lightning rods for bigger conversations that Americans are having about identity, race, and religion. I hope that this unfinished story communicates the complexity of contemporary Jewish identity in a compelling and entertaining way.