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Dr Ben Outhwaite

Dr Ben Outhwaite

Affiliated Researcher in Hebrew

Office Phone: 01223 333129


Dr Outhwaite received a B.A. in Hebrew Studies and an M.Phil. in Medieval Hebrew literature from Christ's College, Cambridge. His Cambridge Ph.D. thesis, on the grammatical description of Hebrew letters in the Genizah, was completed under the supervision of Professor Geoffrey Khan.

Dr Ben Outhwaite was appointed Head of the Genizah Research Unit in May 2006, having worked for the previous seven years as a Genizah researcher. His projects for the Unit included completing the two remaining volumes in the series Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections by M.C. Davis, which were published in 2003.

Subject groups/Research projects

Hebrew & Semitic Studies:

Research Interests

Dr Outhwaite's research interests revolve around Hebrew and its use and transmission in the Middle Ages: the vocalisation traditions of Biblical (and post-biblical) Hebrew, the Medieval Hebrew language (particularly its use as a medium of communication throughout the early Middle Ages) and the documentary history of the communities who deposited manuscripts into the Cairo Genizah.

Key Publications

‘Gaonic correspondence’ in G. Khan et al (ed.), Encyclopedia of Hebrew language and linguistics, vol. 2 G–O (Brill, Leiden, Boston, 2013), pp. 2–6.


‘Lines of communication: Medieval Hebrew letters of the 11th century’, in E-M. Wagner, B. Outhwaite and B. Beinhoff (eds), Scribes as agents of language change (De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013), pp. 183–198.

‘Clothed in Glory and Decked in Splendour’: Medieval Hebrew since the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, British Association for Jewish Studies Bulletin 2012, 3–8.

B. M. Outhwaite and S. Bhayro (eds), ‘From a sacred source’: Genizah studies in honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif (Cambridge Genizah Studies 1; Brill, Leiden 2010), 419 pp.

See more here (link to PDF of publications)