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Reproductive Sociology Research Group


Dr. Lea Taragin-Zeller is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also an affiliated researcher at the Woolf Institute and the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), University of Cambridge. Lea is a social anthropologist with research interests situated at the intersection of religion and reproductive politics. Her work has been published in leading international journals, such as American Anthropologist, Medical Anthropology and Science Communication. Her first book “The State of Desire: Reorienting Religion and Reproductive Politics in the Promised Land” (forthcoming with NYU Press) ethnographically analyzes the ways Orthodox Jews reorient conflicting social, religious, and national desires amidst shifting forms in Israel’s reproductive governance. 


Lea has been a research affiliate at ReproSoc since 2016.  She is currently the co-convener of the Reproductive Righteousness project, together with Risa Cromer (Purdue University) and Sarah Franklin (University of Cambridge). ​​The Reproductive Righteousness Project is a new initiative launched to explore the ways in which families, fertility and reproduction have become increasingly important discursive moral devices through which right wing populist leaders invoke the threat of national, social and cultural decline. You can learn more about the project here.


Key publications: 


Taragin-Zeller, Lea, 2021. A Rabbi of One’s Own? Navigating Religious Authority and Ethical Freedom in Everyday Judaism, American Anthropologist ​

Taragin-Zeller, Lea, Rozenblum, Yael and Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet, 2020, “Public engagement with Science among Religious Minorities: Lessons from COVID-19”, Science Communication

Taragin-Zeller, Lea and Kasstan, Ben, 2020, “I didn’t know how to be with my husband”: State-Religion struggles over Sex Education in Israel and England, Anthropology and Education Quarterly ​

Taragin-Zeller, Lea, 2019, Conceiving God’s Children: Towards a Flexible Model of Reproductive Decision Making, Medical Anthropology, 38:4, p. 370-381. 

Taragin-Zeller, Lea, 2019, Towards an Anthropology of Doubt: The Case of Religious Reproduction in Orthodox Judaism, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 18 (1), p. 1-20.  

 Lea  Taragin-Zeller

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