Credits: Header photo, Serafima Mintz; Bio photo, Joel Mintz
Meri-Jane Rochelson is a writer, scholar, and teacher, now professor emerita at Florida International University, Miami, where she taught for 32 years. Based in the English Department, specializing in Victorian and Anglo-Jewish literature and culture, she also remains affiliated with the programs in Jewish Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.
Meri-Jane was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Smith College and graduated from Barnard with a degree in Political Science. After earning an MA at Teachers College Columbia University, she taught English and ESL in New York City high schools before returning to graduate school. She received her MA and PhD in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago, and made her home in the Miami area in 1982.
At FIU Meri-Jane was Associate Chairperson of the English Department for eight years, and Acting Director of Women's and Gender Studies for one. In 2014 she organized a full-day symposium at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Anglo-Jewish writer and activist Israel Zangwill, the subject of much of her academic research. Nearly 150 attendees from the university and the community heard scholars discuss Zangwill's legacy as a writer and a leader of Jewish nationalist movements, and saw scenes from Zangwill's 1908 play The Melting-Pot performed by members of the FIU Theatre Department. Meri-Jane served as President of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, an international scholarly organization, from 2006 to 2012, and is currently on the NCSA's Senior Advisory Council.
Meri-Jane Rochelson and her husband, Joel Mintz (emeritus professor of law at Nova Southeastern University) returned to their New York roots in December 2021 and now live in Westchester County, where they remain active scholars. They have two grown children and two growing grandchildren.