Dr Yael KlangwisanHead of Education

  • BAppSci, MEd, MTh, PhD
Dr Yael Klangwisan is Head of Education programmes in the School of Social Practice, and a Senior Lecturer (Hebrew Bible) in Laidlaw Graduate School. She teaches Ethics, Educational Research, and Hebrew Poetry, and supervises Biblical Literature, critical theory and creative works theses.

Yael engages students in passionate explorations of the biblical text, educational theory, philosophy and critical theory. She seeks to develop students' curiosity and creative thinking through deep learning. Yael loves all her subjects but particularly the Hebrew Bible. This beautiful set of texts is a gift in the present, bringing together, as it has for thousands of years, divinity and humanity via a diverse array of writings.

Yael's research brings together continental philosophy and the Hebrew Bible, such as the engagement of the bible by philosophers Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous. Yael supervises Master and PHD students of the Hebrew Bible and in areas such as creative works, literary theory, bible/theology and the arts (film, creative writing, theatre, photography, fine arts), critical theory and the biblical text (feminist, postcolonial, cultural) and Jewish studies. She is the author of "Jouissance: A Cixousian Encounter with the Song of Songs" (Sheffield Phoenix, 2015).

Yael was born in beautiful Whitianga, but has lived overseas for much of her life including, Australia, the USA, Ireland and Thailand. She has worked as a scientist, high school teacher, asylum seeker advocate and university lecturer. Yael studied her Master of Education at USQ, Master of Theology at Laidlaw, and her PhD (Biblical Literature/Philosophy) at AUT. 

She lives in West Auckland with Chan, a social worker, their two teenagers, and a menagerie (a cocker spaniel, a hen named Simone, and a Himalayan cat). Yael loves the New Zealand mountains and wild coasts... and really, really good books.


Yael supervises in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Bible as Literature, Jewish literature, Bible and Critical Theory and Educational Philosophy. She also supervises interdisciplinary Creative Works projects in Biblical Studies or Theology, and for example: Poetry, Theatre, Art, Photography, Film, and other Creative Writings.


Current Projects

Freire, Alves, and the contribution of Latin American liberation theology to the practice of theological education

Rodin’s bodies and the theology of desire: creative works and the theological subject

Bathsheba’s letter: Rembrandt’s exegetical compassion

Reading Marc Chagall’s Song of Songs

Muriwai [anthology]; Hoc Mane: On waking [anthology]

Nightshade: Literary Journeys into Biblical Madness

Recent Publications

“Reading Job as Finnish Noir”, The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama: Murderous Texts: Eds. Caroline Blyth and Alison Jack. London: Bloomsbury. [Forthcoming].

“Twelve Steps to the Tent of Zimri: An Imaginarium.” (chap. 7), Rape culture, Gender Violence and Religion. Eds. Caroline Blyth, Katie Edwards and Emily Colgan. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018.

"The Animal in Derrida’s Bible.’ (chap. 6). Creation & Hope, Eds Nicola Hoggard-Creegan and Andrew Sheppard. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018.

“Synergeo: The practice of teaching as hospitality” Stimulus 25, 1 (2018).

“On behalf of holy creatures: Cixous reads Leviticus 11, or, La Lecture Immonde” Relegere (special issue) [Forthcoming].

"Theology and Pedagogy of hope: a vision for Teaching and Learning”, Stimulus 19, 2 (2017).

"Fury Road: Escaping the phallic economy of the Exodus" Bible & Critical Theory 12, 2 (2016): 75-86.

"Berēšît: Countersigning Maria O’Connor’s Film Equus’ Ashes with Derrida’s L’animal" (chap. 11) in The Bible and Art in Oceania, Eds. Caroline Blyth & Nasili Vaka’uta. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016.

"Promethea’s Song of Songs" (chap. 9) in Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements, Eds. Robert J. Myles & Caroline Blyth. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2015.

Jouissance: A Cixousian Encounter with the Song of Songs Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2015.

"A Tallith of One’s Own," Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation 39, 1 (2014): 123-125.

‘Radical Hospitality and the Monks of Tibhirine,’ Stimulus 21, 1 (2014): 34-39.


Completed Doctoral supervisions

PhD. Karen Nelson, “Hesed and the New Testament: A study in intertextual-categorization” AUT/Laidlaw Graduate School, 2017.

Current Doctoral Supervisions

Dorthe Scheffmann, “Vermilion: Making a feature film for cinema manifesting a feminine manifesto.” AUT: School of Art and Design.

Mei-fung Woo, “Writing’s Other: Bring-forth our poetic encounter within sites of literature.” AUT: School of Art and Design.

Completed MTh Supervisions

Distinction. Master of Theology. Hilary Johnston, “The terror of liminality: A study of Phyllis Trible’s Metaphorical Appropriation of the Jacob at the Jabbok Narrative as a Metaphor for Wrestling with Scripture and Feminism.”, Laidlaw Graduate School, 2017.

Distinction. Master of Theology. Jonathan Hoskin, “White Spaces: A fragmentary theological encounter”, [dissertation]. Laidlaw Graduate School, 2017.

Current MTh Supervisions

Amanda Pilbrow. “Faith and Sexuality.”, Carey Graduate School.

Tekweni Chataira, “Naomi: A Narrative Analysis of the Book of Ruth.”, Laidlaw Graduate School.

Paula Simpson, “Beyond John: Exploring the gospel as mystical theatre.”, Laidlaw Graduate School.