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We are pleased to announce that registration for the forthcoming international conference to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton is now open.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton, the catalyst for the establishment of the unique Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Institute is based on the life work of the Reverend Dr James Parkes (1896-1981), one of the most remarkable figures within twentieth century Christianity. A tireless fighter against antisemitism in all forms, including from within Christianity, he helped rescue Jewish refugees during the 1930s and campaigned for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. During the Second World War he helped found the Council of Christians and Jews and worked throughout his career in promoting religious tolerance and mutual respect. As part of his international campaigning, he built up the Parkes Library and associated archive which transferred to the University of Southampton in 1964 and opened in 1965. It is now one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and the only one in the world devoted specifically to Jewish/non-Jewish relations.

This three-day Jubilee Conference examines the subject of Jewish/non-Jewish relations by looking at the history of research over the last 50 years, presenting the latest research in this area, and determining future directions in the field.

If you wish to register please visit our Parkes Jubilee Conference website where you will find the registration page along with all the details of the packages available: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/parkes/jubilee/conference.page?

Registration closes on the 21st August.

Any questions or queries please contact the Conference Administration Team on Parkes@southampton.ac.uk

The grief-stricken faces at Edward’s deathbed in the Bayeux Tapestry; the ambiguous ‘ofermod’ in The Battle of Maldon; the body-crumpling anguish of the Virgin witnessing the Man of Sorrows; the mirth of the Green Knight; the apoplectic anger of the mystery plays’ Herod and the visceral visionary experiences of Margery of Kempe all testify to the ways in which the medieval world sought to express, perform, idealise and understand emotion.

Yet while such expressions of emotion are frequently encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines, defining, quantifying and analysing the purposes of emotion and its relationship to gender often proves difficult.  Are personal items placed in early Anglo Saxon graves a means for the living to let go of, or perpetuate emotion, and how are these influenced by the body in the grave?  Do different literary and historical forms lend themselves to diverse ways of expressing men’s and women’s emotion?  How does a character expressing emotion on stage or in artwork use body, gender and articulation to communicate emotion to their viewer?  Moreover, is emotion viewed differently depending on the gendered identity of the body expressing it?  Is emotion and its reception used to construct, deconstruct, challenge or confirm gender identities?

This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities. 

Proposals are now being accepted for 20 minute papers.  Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gender and emotional expression: representing and performing emotion
  • The emotional body
  • Philosophies of emotion: theory and morality
  • Emotional objects and vessels of emotion
  • Language and emotion and the languages of emotion
  • Preserving or perpetuating emotion
  • Emotions to be dealt with: repressing, curtailing, channelling, transforming
  • Forbidden emotion
  • Living through (someone else’s) emotion
  • The emotions of war and peace
  • The emotive ‘other’
  • Place and emotion
  • Queer emotion

We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology and drama.  A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at d.black@hull.ac.uk by the 7th September 2015.  All queries should also be directed to this address.  Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable).

Further details will be available on the conference website:

www.medievalgender.co.uk

Artists, museum curators and educators are increasingly interested in devising more effective strategies of remembering painful pasts. To this end, many recent projects commemorating genocides, civil wars, dictatorships and terrorist attacks, invite audiences to actively engage in remembering and reflecting critically upon these historical events, and what they mean to contemporary societies. The term ‘performative’ best explains the active engagement that these projects demand from audiences. This term is used to describe artistic and educational projects which promote a high degree of participation, through hands-on activities and other audience engagement strategies. Furthermore, it can also denote the possible effects which these projects may have upon audiences, namely to encourage them to become agents of commemoration, to transform their relationship with the past, and to reach a position of moral and civic responsibility.

This conference, and its subsequent publication, invites academics, artists, and museum practitioners to explore the usefulness of performative strategies of engagement with painful pasts, and the impact these strategies have upon the public. We ask whether and how performative practices enable later born generations to deal with the legacies of trauma, to initiate reconciliation and to attempt forgiveness. Do performative projects motivate individuals from persecuted groups to ask for justice? Do they sharpen public awareness of democratic values, and make contemporary audiences more sensitive to discrimination and intolerance?

Coming from the field of Holocaust Studies, and having noted that performative practices are employed frequently in its commemoration, our goal is to widen our understanding of why and how ‘performativity’ appears in the memorialization of other dreadful historical events. Therefore, we are interested in projects commemorating genocides such as those in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur, civil wars in South America, ethnic cleansings in former Yugoslavia, the Apartheid system in South Africa, the Soviet gulag system, the suppression under communist regimes and dictatorships, forced migration, as well as other major traumatic events in recent history. The variety of case studies from different backgrounds will help us to understand whether these methods are effective.

We welcome papers exploring artistic and educational projects that challenge the audience to contribute to social, political and civic activism and to strengthen democratic values within their societies. Examples of such projects may include spontaneous memorial acts, audience participatory projects, interactive theatre, exhibitions and artistic works that create immersive environments through the use of visual and tactile effects, and which involve a high degree of bodily engagement.

As we are particularly interested to learn more about the effectiveness of performative practices upon audiences, we encourage scholars to examine visitors’ responses which have been captured both through interviews, digital and social media, and also through the observation of various non-verbal visitor behaviours displayed during visits at memorial sites.

Central questions to consider are:

  • How do performative practices affect the visitor’s understanding of the particular event in question?
  • Do performative practices succeed in overriding the audience members’ natural feelings of being distanced from these historical events both physically, emotionally and temporally?
  • In the case of more recent traumatic events, are these practices useful in treating trauma, and in achieving justice for the victims of these events?
  • Can performative practices be used to strengthen social activism and civic responsibility?
  • In what sense are these projects innovative? In particular, how do they differ from similar performance practices from the 1970s onwards, which likewise displayed a high degree of audience participation?

The 3-day-conference will be held at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University, Sweden, 15 – 17 June 2016.

Keynote lectures and paper presentations will be open to the general public, whilst special sessions are reserved for internal discussions amongst conference participants only.

Please note: we prefer subjects which have not been previously published. Accepted conference participants are strongly encouraged to submit articles for publication soon after the conference. The work for the volume will undergo several editorial processes to ensure that its focus and purpose will be achieved.

Submissions for conference papers should reach us by 24 August 2015.

Please send an abstract (400 words) and a short CV including your institutional and departmental/museum affiliation and contact details to: performative.commemoration@gmail.com

For any questions please contact the conference organizers: Tanja Schult, Department of Culture and Aesthetics Stockholm University, Sweden, tanja.schult@arthistory.su.se, and Diana Popescu, Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck College, London, d.popescu@bbk.ac.uk.

The John Rylands Library preserves one of the world’s valuable collections of Hebrew and Jewish manuscripts and printed books. The holdings span Septuagint fragments and parchment from Qumran to the papers of Moses Gaster and Arthur Marmorstein. The Rylands Genizah and rich collections of medieval manuscript codices and early printed books are among the strengths of the collection, making the John Rylands Library an important centre for the study of Judaism from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.

The aim of this conference is to convene scholars and students researching areas represented in the Library’s Hebrew and Jewish collections, including (but not limited to) the Cairo Genizah, medieval Hebrew manuscript codices, early printed Hebrew books, Samaritan manuscripts and the collections of Moses Gaster. It will take place as part of a number of programmes at the John Rylands Research Institute which aim to facilitate the study of the Library’s Hebrew and Jewish holdings, including the 2015-2018 externally-funded project to catalogue the manuscript collections. Studies of the John Rylands’ collections, of related Hebraica and Judaica libraries, and of resources and methods that facilitate such research will be particularly welcome. The expectation is that the conference will result in an edited collection of essays.

Initial expressions of interest in presenting papers should be sent to jrri.conference2016@manchester.ac.uk. Full details of the conference and a formal call for papers will be issued in advance.

www.manchester.ac.uk/jrri

A conference on the theme of ‘Atheism, Scepticism and Challenges to Monotheism’ will be hosted at the University of Manchester 5-7 July under the auspices of the British Association for Jewish Studies: www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/bajs-conference/

There are now some limited funds to cover the conference fee for postgraduate students who wish to attend the conference but who are NOT planning to give a paper. Please contact Prof. Daniel Langton (daniel.r.langton@manchester.ac.uk) if this interests you.

The process would be (i) join BAJS as a student/associate member (depending on whether you are based in the UK or outside the UK), and (ii) receive the reimbursement of the student/associate member conference fee after the conference (£55/100 for two days or £30/50 for one day). Please note that the deadline for registering is Fri 29 May.

Conference registration details:

www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/bajs-registration/

BAJS membership details:

http://britishjewishstudies.org/about/join-bajs/

Please feel free to forward this call to interested fellow postgraduate students in the UK and beyond.

The conference is hosted and funded by the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group of the Open University, with additional support from the British Jewish Contemporary Culture research network, Bangor University and the University of Winchester.

Judaism can be seen as a utopian religion: the Promised Land will be an ideal place and the messiah will bring about an ideal world. Read as literature, the Bible offers one of the principal sources of utopian thought in Britain and the Western World. Judaic utopianism has become British through the cultural practice of imagining Jerusalem in these isles. It is such a conjunction of Jewish and British cultural utopias, in contemporary British-Jewish culture, which this conference proposes to explore. Challenging utopia, there is also a British-Jewish imaginative paradigm of dystopia. This has existed, in particular, since the advent of modern European antisemitism with the Dreyfus Affair and continued in the wake of the Holocaust.

Topics addressed: utopias of assimilation, Zionism, modernism, liberalism, communism, aesthetics, domesticity and romance; dystopias of antisemitism, communism, Nazism, the Holocaust and contemporary Britain, and the overlap of these utopias and dystopias.

Keynote speaker: Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading).

Confirmed speakers: Nathan Abrams (Bangor University), Finn Fordham (Royal Holloway), Ruth Gilbert (University of Winchester), James Jordan (University of Southampton), Peter Lawson (Open University), Axel Stähler (University of Kent) and Sue Vice (University of Sheffield).

The conference will be held on Thursday 23 July 2015 at the Open University London Regional Centre, Camden, and lunch will be provided. In keeping with the Open University’s founding commitment to social equality and accessible education, there will be no registration charge. It is planned to publish the proceedings.

Venue: Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP (9.30am start).

To book: one of the limited number of places, please register for the event as soon as possible (and no later than 9 July 2015). Proposals (no more than 500 words) and a one-page CV should be sent in an email titled ‘The Promised Land Conference’ to: britishjewishcontemporarycult@gmail.com. For further information, please contact the conference organiser: p.j.lawson@open.ac.uk

Registration is now open:

www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/bajs-registration/

Please note that there are limited places for accommodation booked via the registration form and that these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. The deadline for registration is Friday 29 May 2015.

same_page_banner-783x394We are delighted to announce the programme for On the Same Page: Digital Approaches to Hebrew Manuscripts at King’s College London (Monday 18th May – Tuesday 19th May 2015). This two-day conference will explore the potential for the computer-assisted study of Hebrew manuscripts; discuss the intersection of Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities; and share methodologies. Amongst the topics covered will be Hebrew palaeography and codicology, the encoding and transcription of Hebrew texts, the practical and theoretical consequences of the use of digital surrogates and the visualisation of manuscript evidence and data. For the full programme and our Call for Posters, please see: http://www.digipal.eu/blog/digital-approaches/

Registration for the conference is free. As places are limited, we recommend registering at an early point to avoid disappointment. To register, please visit: https://on-the-same-page.eventbrite.com

Refreshments will be provided, but attendees should make their own arrangements for lunch.

Very much looking forward to seeing you in May,

Stewart Brookes, Debora Matos, Andrea Schatz and Peter Stokes

Organised by the Departments of Digital Humanities and Theology & Religious Studies (Jewish Studies)
Co-sponsor: Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies (CLAMS), King’s College London. With thanks to the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department for permission to use the image from Lewis O 140 (The Masoretic Bible of Portugal). Photograph courtesy of Débora Matos.

For further information, to submit proposals and to register for the conference, please go to http://www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/bajs-conference/.

BAJS-2015-poster

Date: 12 & 13 June 2015; Venue: SOAS, University of London Brunei Gallery, room B102

The workshop, hosted by the Woolf Institute and the Centre for Cultural Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS, explores how minorities are represented in the arts in the Middle East from the late nineteenth-century to the present day.

The panels: Gender and the Nation, Diaspora and Transnationalism, Representation and Image, & Transformation and Agency.

The Film “Jews and Muslims: Intimate Strangers” will be screened followed by Q&A with the filmmaker, Karim Miské.

For further information and to book your place, please see our Eventbrite page. (Deadline for booking your place is 1 June 2015.)

Flier Minorities and Popular Culture in Modern Middle East June 2015

For further details, please see here: http://www.israelstudies.eu/Diary/1

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton, the catalyst for the establishment of the unique Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Institute is based on the life work of the Reverend Dr James Parkes (1896-1981), one of the most remarkable figures within twentieth century Christianity. A tireless fighter against antisemitism in all forms, including from within Christianity, he helped rescue Jewish refugees during the 1930s and campaigned for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. During the Second World War he helped found the Council of Christians and Jews and worked throughout his career in promoting religious tolerance and mutual respect. As part of his international campaigning, he built up the Parkes Library and associated archive which transferred to the University of Southampton in 1964 and opened in 1965. It is now one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and the only one in the world devoted specifically to Jewish/non-Jewish relations.

This anniversary conference will examine the subject of Jewish/non-Jewish relations by looking at the history of research over the last 50 years, presenting the latest research in this area, and determining future directions in the field. We welcome proposals covering any subject related to Jewish/non-Jewish relations from antiquity to the present day, with proposals for papers (and panels) in the following areas especially welcome:

  • The legacy of James Parkes
  • Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
  • Rabbinic literature and the representation of the ‘other’
  • Medieval and Early Modern Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • History of antisemitism
  • Comparative migration and identity
  • The Holocaust and Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in literature and philosophy
  • Representation and constructions of the image of ‘the Jew’
  • Jews and non-Jews in the Visual and Performing Arts
  • The role and representation of Jews in the heritage world, including museums, libraries and archives.

Keynote speakers

Todd Endelman, Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History, University of Michigan

Sander Gilman, Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University

Martin Goodman, Professor of Jewish Studies, Oxford University, and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Tony Kushner, Marcus Sieff Professor of the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, University of Southampton and the Parkes Institute

Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Queen Mary University of London

Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, University of Edinburgh

Venue and Conference Information

7-9 September 2015, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.

Submission of paper proposals

Please submit proposals by 1 April 2015 to Dr Helen Spurling (H.Spurling@southampton.ac.uk), including the following information:

  • Author’s full name
  • Postal and email address
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Abstract of the paper to be presented (no more than 250 words)
  • Biographical information (no more than 50 words)
  • Panel proposals should not exceed one page in length
  • A limited number of bursaries will be available on a competitive basis for postgraduates and early career researchers. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

For further information, please visit: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/parkes/jubilee/index.page?

For academic enquiries, please contact: H.Spurling@southampton.ac.uk

For general enquiries, please contact: parkes@southampton.ac.uk

6th to 8th June 2016, MMSH, Aix-en-Provence (France), 5 rue du Château de l’Horloge, BP 647 13094 Aix-en-Provence

This EAJS Laboratory workshop will focus on the material transmission of the Hebrew Bible from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. We will examine a range of research methods used in the three main fields of Hebrew Bible manuscript studies: Dead Sea Scroll, Cairo Genizah and European Genizot studies.

Although Dead Sea Scroll (DSS), Cairo Genizah (CG) and European Genizot (EG) manuscripts date from different eras and come from a diversity of geographical and cultural backgrounds, they all constitute the only primary sources we have for the study of the transmission of the Hebrew Bible. As such, they provide various fields of research with important information about their background.

Although DSS, CG and EG studies share a common concern with the transmission of the Hebrew Bible, their research approaches differ. Whereas studies on the DSS focus mainly on linguistics and literature, the study of Medieval Hebrew Bible manuscripts (CG and EG studies) concentrates on philology, palaeography and codicology. The online availability of digitised manuscripts, the development of databases and other new research tools are also having an increasing impact on research practices.

Bringing together PhD students, early career researchers and established scholars working on Hebrew Bible manuscripts, this transdisciplinary event will encourage participants to share their research methods and approaches, in order to foster and encourage future transdisciplinary research collaborations between them.

In order to provide a focus for discussion this workshop will address the following questions:

  1. What are the approaches to the study of Hebrew Bible manuscripts (e.g. language, palaeography)?
  2. What are the limits of these approaches (i.e. how much do they tell us)?
  3. How are these approaches applied in DSS, CG and EG studies (e.g. are palaeographical approaches the same in all three fields)?
  4. How can researchers in these three fields benefit from each others’ research practices?
  5. Can digital tools make Hebrew Bible studies more rigorous?
  6. What research tools are still needed to improve the study of the material transmission of the Hebrew Bible? 

There will be three sessions, each focused on a specific field of research: Dead Sea Scrolls, the Cairo Genizah and the European Genizah. Each session will be introduced by a keynote lecture. Short presentations (10-15 min) by the participants will follow. All participants will be asked to send a first draft of their paper one month prior to the event in order to give the other participants time to prepare for an extended discussion.

To apply please send the following information to admin@eurojewishstudies.org by May 7, 2015.

  • A short (half-page) letter of motivation giving your reasons for wishing to participate in this event.
  • The title of a potential presentation and a short abstract.
  • A curriculum vitae, and the names of two referees, one of whom should be your academic supervisor.
  • EAJS membership details (note that all participants should be EAJS members at the time of the event). 

PhD students and early career researchers will be notified of the outcome shortly after 21 May 2015.

The Organisers :

  • Élodie Attia-Kay (Centre Paul-Albert Février, Aix-Marseille University)
  • Samuel Blapp (University of Cambridge, FAMES)
  • Antony Perrot (EPHE-Sorbonne, IVth section, Paris) 

Funded by the EAJS Programme in European Jewish Studies, the Stiftung “Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft” (Berlin) and the Centre Paul-Albert Février (Aix).

Co-organized by the German Historical Institute Washington, DC, the Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg, the Alvin H. Rosenfeld Chair in Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo Baeck Instituts (Miriam Ruerup, Anne Schenderlein, Mirjam Zadoff).

25.03.2015, Hamburg, Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden 
We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the Fourth Junior Scholars Conference in German Jewish History, to take place at the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg in July 2015. We seek proposals specifically from post-doctoral scholars, recent PhDs, as well as those in the final stages of their dissertations. The aim of the conference is to bring together a small transatlantic group of junior scholars to discuss and explore new research and questions in German Jewish history and 19th and 20th history more broadly. During a two-day workshop, the participants will give short presentations (20 min.) of their individual research projects and engage in discussions on sources, methodology, and theory to assess current and future trends in the historiography on German Jewry.

This year’s workshop will focus on the themes of heritage and diaspora and we invite papers pertaining to these and closely related topics. We are specifically interested in creating a dialogue between scholars of Jewish history and historians working on other ethnic, religious, social, and cultural groups. In bringing together a cross-field group of historians, we hope to broaden our understanding of different approaches and sharpen our eye for particularities and commonalities in the study of heritage and diaspora. Working from the observation that genealogy research is increasingly popular today, while Jewish museums are being built and Jewish heritage tourism is flourishing all over Europe, we would like to examine this Jewish interest in heritage and place it within a broader comparative perspective.

Among some of the questions we are interested in exploring are:

  • When and why is heritage important to a community?
  • What role does the experience of diaspora, migration, persecution, and forced exile play in a community’s focus on heritage?
  • How does Zionism and the goal of overcoming the Jewish diaspora affect
  • diasporic searches for roots and inventions of a common past?
  • Does heritage have a specific place and space?
  • How are heritage sites chosen, created, invented, and represented?
  • What role does tourism play?

The workshop language will be English. The organizers cover expenses for travel (lump sum) and accommodation.

Please send short proposals (2-3 pages max.) and a one page CV to Anne Schenderlein (schenderlein@ghi-dc.org) by March 25, 2015. For questions, please also contact Anne Schenderlein. Successful applicants will be notified by April 7.

Homepage www.ghi-dc.org und www.igdj-hh.de

“The Crazy Genius of Herod the Great”

Seen through the lens of his building programme, military strategy, contemporary texts, art and architecture, and political alliances

Considering the enormous scale of his political ambitions and achievements during his lengthy reign, we shall be happy to receive submissions relating to any and all aspects of the rule of Herod the Great, including political connections, religious facets of his life and rule, propaganda, military campaigns and strategy, his innovative building programme, including the Temple at Jerusalem, art, architecture, numismatics, contemporary texts, and any other related matters.

*********

Presentation of papers at this conference will be 45 minutes within a one-hour slot, allowing time for discussion after each paper.

We invite abstracts of no more than 400 words to reach us by email at hekhal.dublinia@gmail.com by 20 March 2015.

(For further details, see the Hekhal website http://hekhal.wordpress.com/)

As those following the progress of DigiPal will be aware, an increasing number of projects are opting to study their corpora with the DigiPal framework (essentially, the database and a series of web-based tools for computer-assisted palaeography). SephardiPal is one of these “Daughters of DigiPal”, and is now so grown up that she is organising her own conference. How exciting is that? It’s a two-day conference, with the promise of plenty of palaeography on offer from the invited speakers who include:

  • Malachi Beit-Arié (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Edna Engel (Hebrew Palaeography Project)
  • Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne)
  • Colette Sirat (Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes)

See here for the Call for Papers and further details.

The conference is hosted and funded by the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group of the Open University, with additional support from the British Jewish Contemporary Culture research network, Bangor University and the University of Winchester.

Judaism can be seen as a utopian religion: the Promised Land will be an ideal place and the messiah will bring about an ideal world. Read as literature, the Bible offers one of the principal sources of utopian thought in Britain and the Western World. Judaic utopianism has become British through the cultural practice of imagining Jerusalem in these isles. It is such a conjunction of Jewish and British cultural utopias, in contemporary British-Jewish culture, which this conference proposes to explore. Challenging utopia, there is also a British-Jewish imaginative paradigm of dystopia. This has existed, in particular, since the advent of modern European antisemitism with the Dreyfus Affair and continued in the wake of the Holocaust.

Topics addressed: utopias of assimilation, Zionism, modernism, liberalism, communism, aesthetics, domesticity and romance; dystopias of antisemitism, communism, Nazism, the Holocaust and contemporary Britain, and the overlap of these utopias and dystopias.

Keynote speaker: Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading).

Confirmed speakers: Nathan Abrams (Bangor University), Finn Fordham (Royal Holloway), Ruth Gilbert (University of Winchester), James Jordan (University of Southampton), Peter Lawson (Open University), Axel Stähler (University of Kent) and Sue Vice (University of Sheffield).

The conference will be held on Thursday 23 July 2015 at the Open University London Regional Centre, Camden, and lunch will be provided. In keeping with the Open University’s founding commitment to social equality and accessible education, there will be no registration charge. It is planned to publish the proceedings.

Venue: Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP (9.30am start).

To book: one of the limited number of places, please register for the event as soon as possible (and no later than Thursday 30 April 2015). Proposals (no more than 500 words) and a one-page CV should be sent in an email titled ‘The Promised Land Conference’ to: britishjewishcontemporarycult@gmail.com. For further information, please contact the conference organiser: p.j.lawson@open.ac.uk

The process by which some authoritative scriptures came to be included in the canons of Judaism and Christianity has received much attention. While light has been shed on the importance of scribalism, citation, rewriting, and community understanding, little attention has been placed on the implications in making some scriptures, and not others, authoritative.

The scope of this conference will revolve around the issues of historical, theological and ethical ramifications of canonization. What are the effects in elevating certain writings to the status of “Holy Scriptures”? Some texts have the power to define identity and orthodoxy, to inspire noble actions, and also to justify violence and prejudice. Is the belief in the holiness of certain texts a warrant for their use and misuse?

0900-0915 Welcome
0915-1000 John Collins (Yale University) “Uses of Torah in the Second Temple Period”
1000-1045 Michael Satlow (Brown University) “Bad Prophecies”
1045-1100 Coffee
1100-1145 Manfred Oeming (Universität Heidelberg) “The Way of God: Ethics and Ritual as Birthplaces of Canonicity”
1145-1230 Timothy Lim (University of Edinburgh) “The Insufficiency of Divine Inspiration”
1230-1330 Lunch
1400-1445 John Barton (University of Oxford) “How far does the content of canonical texts matter?
1445-1530 Walter Moberly (University of Durham) “Canonicity and religious truth: What role, if any, should a traditional canon play today?”
1530-1615 Craig Evans (Acadia Divinity School) “Jesus and the Beginnings of the Christian Canon of Scripture”
1615-1700 Tea
1700-1745 Shaye Cohen (Harvard University) “Some Reflections on the Canon”
1745-1800 Closing Remarks

For further information and how to book, please see:

http://conferences.hss.ed.ac.uk/power-authority-canon/

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the death marches, the liberation of Auschwitz and concentration camps in western Europe, the end of World War II, and early postwar trials including the First Bergen-Belsen Trial and the opening of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. This sequence of anniversaries is an appropriate time to reflect on 70 years of research, education, public commemoration, musealization and cultural production, paying particular attention to the British and European contexts. It is an appropriate time to consider both what has been achieved, where there is now consensus, what remains contested, is being re-examined, and/or only now beginning to be explored. What should be our priorities in the short, medium and long-term, and do these vary depending on the local or national context, or the community of memory?

All conferences of the British Association for Holocaust Studies (BAHS) are inter- and cross-disciplinary, bringing together academics, teachers and practitioners, particularly those working in museums and at memorial sites. BAHS invites papers which consider the following:

  • Current national priorities in researching, memorializing and educating about the Holocaust;
  • Public policy, national and transnational Holocaust memory and institutions (e.g., Holocaust Memorial Days, Holocaust-related Commissions, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance);
  • Liberation in history and memory,
  • Holocaust and/or genocide and the law;
  • Geographies/topography of the Holocaust and/or genocide, dark and Holocaust tourism;
  • Challenges and developments in 21st century museological representations of the Holocaust,
  • Contemporary representations of Holocaust and genocide, e.g., literature, film and television, music, fine and performing arts;
  • Gendered memories and representations of the Holocaust and genocide,
  • New technologies and social media in teaching, representing and memorializing the Holocaust;
  • New and emerging pedagogical practices in teaching about the Holocaust,
  • Teaching about the Holocaust in subject areas other than History,
  • Teaching about the Holocaust in relation to Human Rights, other genocides and Communist totalitarian regimes;
  • The influence of popular culture and technology on Holocaust education,
  • Teaching about the Holocaust and/or genocide at sites of memory.

In addition, proposals from those pursuing original research in any aspect of Holocaust studies are welcome.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Dr Rochelle G. Saidel, Giving Women Their Place in Holocaust History. Dr Saidel is Executive Director, Remember the Women Institute, New York and Senior Researcher, Centre for the Study of Women and Society, University of São Paulo, Brazil; her recent publications include Mielec, Poland: The Shtetl That Became a Nazi Concentration Camp (2012); The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück (2004) and, co-edited with Sonja Hedgepeth, Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (2012).
  • Dr Caroline Sturdy-Colls, What Lies Beneath? Forensic Archaeological Approaches to Treblinka Extermination and Labour Camps. Dr Sturdy-Colls is Associate Professor of Forensic Archaeology and genocide Investigation, Staffordshire University. She is also the Research Lead of the Centre of Archaeology at Staffordshire University. Her work focuses specifically on the investigation of Holocaust sites using forensic and archaeological techniques. She is the author of two major monographs: Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions and Forensic Approaches: The Buried Remains, and has published a number of papers regarding her work in Poland, Serbia and the Channel Islands.
  • The State of Holocaust Education: Challenges and Opportunities 70 Years On, a roundtable discussion with Dr Rachel Century (Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Fellow of the Imperial War Museum in Holocaust Education); Rachel Donnelly (Imperial War Museum); Dr Sarah Hall (University of Birmingham); Alex Maws (Holocaust Educational Trust) and Dr Andy Pearce (University of London).

Submission of abstracts for proposed papers:

BAHS invites abstracts for papers of 20 minutes length (to be followed by 10 minutes of questions). Please send an .rtf or word file of no more than 250 words plus a 100-word bio and contact details to i.l.wollaston@bham.ac.uk.

Presentations of current postgraduate research:

BAHS welcomes proposals for short presentations of 15 minutes from current PhD students at British universities introducing their research. The presentations will be followed by discussion. Proposals can be related to, or independent of, the conference theme and is open to those conducting PhD research in all fields and disciplines relating to the study of the Holocaust. Sole criterion for sending a proposal is registration as a PhD student at a university in the UK.

Please send an .rtf or word file with an abstract of no more than 250 words plus a 100-word bio, the name and department of your supervisor, and your contact details to i.l.wollaston@bham.ac.uk.

Bursaries:

There will be an opportunity to apply for financial assistance with fees and accommodation for teachers, postgraduate students and early career researchers who contribute a paper. Please submit a cover letter requesting financial assistance and explaining how attendance at the conference will benefit your teaching and/or research, with your abstract submission.

Location:

Centre for Professional Development, University of Birmingham (daytime sessions).

Registration:

The registration fee for the conference is £75 and includes attendance at all sessions, daily refreshments and lunch both days. A conference dinner on 21 July 2015 will cost £25. A daily registration rate of £38 (including lunch) is available for those able only to attend one day of the conference. Registration will be online and will open in early May 2015. If you wish to be notified when registration opens please contact i.l.wollaston@bham.ac.uk.

Accommodation:

Bread and breakfast accommodation in single en suite rooms is available on the university campus and can be booked online. 30 rooms are reserved in the University’s guest house @ £45/night (to be allocated on a first come first served basis). Student hall accommodation is available @ £38/night plus VAT. If delegates prefer to make their own arrangements, there are hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation near the University campus.

Important dates:

  • The deadline for submission of abstracts for papers is 5pm on 23 March 2015. We will email confirmation of safe receipt within one week. Proposals will be peer reviewed.
  • We will email notifications of acceptance of proposed papers by 1 May 2015.
  • Registration for speakers, and for accommodation on the university campus, is mandatory by 5 June 2015.
  • Conference: 21-22 July 2015

For further information:

The Parkes Institute and the University of Southampton are hosting an international workshop on a particularly understudied area of Jewish/non-Jewish relations in Eastern Europe: the relations between Jews and so-called ‘small nations’. The participants will investigate the contribution of these former ‘peasant nations’ – Belorussia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia – to Jewish history and culture.

This workshop is the first exploratory step of a larger international research project. The aim of the latter will be to question the persisting ‘imperial model’ that underlies much Jewish historiography. The ‘imperial model’ has led historians to focus primarily on relations between Jews and only the most dominant social and cultural groups – the Poles and the Russians. Although recent national and Jewish historiographies have explored national histories and brought to the fore more local factors in Jewish history, the study of inter-ethnic relations in Eastern Europe remains overdetermined by national categories and/or the prevailing ‘imperial model’. By adopting a comparative approach, this project aims to go beyond these limitations by scrutinizing how the ‘small nations’ and the Jews related to each other before and after the creation of the new nation-states post-1918.

These relations have been usually discussed in terms of pragmatic economic interactions, anti-Semitism or, at best, mutual ignorance. However, with the rise of the principle of national-cultural autonomy, these relations found a new ideological and institutional stimulus at the beginning of the 20th century. The project will consider how this principle was conceived, adapted and implemented by these nations in-the-making. Despite the fact that there will be a focus on Jewish/non-Jewish relations, a reflection on the treatment of minorities more generally will also be encouraged. The project will not only seek answers to the question of how Jews and other minority groups on the margins of Russia and Poland interacted but it will also explore how formerly oppressed minorities combined their national aspirations with the necessity to accommodate minorities. With the express intention of shifting the focus away from the already widely researched problematic of anti-Semitism, the project will concentrate on a particularly neglected and little-studied aspect of Jewish/non-Jewish relations namely, cultural and artistic exchanges and mutual representations in education, literature, the arts, theatre, cinema and science.

Some possible topics might include:

  • The position of the Jewish, Lithuanian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Latvian nationalists and intellectuals on the minority question before 1914.
  • The representation of national groups after 1905 in emerging national literatures, the press and the arts.
  • The strategic and political alliances of each national group.
  • The impact of the war and the impact of the German occupation on these alliances and on national projects.
  • The legal rights of national minorities in the new republics between 1918 and 1939.
  • Institutional opportunities for collaboration in culture, education, scholarship.
  • Cultural transfers and mutual representations.
  • The shortcomings and limitations of the national experiment in each republic.
  • The results of national-cultural autonomy and minority rights.
  • Local factors and different periodizations, in particular, a comparison between Soviet and non-Soviet temporalities and contexts.

To apply, please send a short proposal (no more than 300 words) and a CV by the 1st March 2015 to Dr Claire Le Foll c.le-foll@soton.ac.uk.

Accommodation will be provided. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for funding for your travel expenses. Papers will be published in a special issue of Jewish Culture and History.

Organised by: Woolf Institute, Cambridge & Centre for Cultural Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS, University of London

Venue: SOAS, University of London Brunei Gallery, room B102

Date: 12 June 2015

Conference rationale

Thanks to modern mass communication media and commercial entertainment, popular culture has increasingly become a large industry geared for massive consumption while engendering and contesting national and communal identities. Since late nineteenth century, Middle Eastern minorities have contributed to the making of popular culture industries as public performers, producers, writers, filmmakers, musicians, etc.  Meanwhile, popular culture has been a crucial tool in constructing public imagery of both majority and minority ethnic and religious communities. Thus, popular culture has been a site of contradictions and contestations.

This workshop aims at exploring the contribution of all religious and ethnic minorities to the popular culture industries and how popular culture products have represented minorities and dealt with the minority question in modern Middle East during the twentieth century and at present. The workshop hopes to examine national, regional, and cross-regional case studies covering the area from Iran to Morocco, from Turkey to Sudan and beyond. Comparative and diasporic studies are particularly welcome.

Themes may include but are not limited to:

  • Histories of the contribution of ethnic and religious minorities to music, cinema, popular press/ publications, theatre, and TV productions
  • Representation of ethnic and religious minorities in music, cinema, theatre, popular press and TV productions in past and present
  • The treatment of minority question in entertainment industry
  • Nostalgic trends in popular production to good old days of ethnic-diversity in Middle East
  • Jews, Arabs, and Arab-Jews in Israeli popular culture
  • The Arab-Israeli conflict in popular culture
  • The dynamic of contemporary Christian media in the Arab world
  • Popular culture and the LBGT communities
  • Gendering minorities in popular culture
  • Popular culture and racialising minorities
  • State’s engagement of popular culture production to other or integrate minorities

Further information:

http://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/news/detail.asp?ItemID=848

Submission deadline:

Please submit 200 word abstracts to: sc736@cam.ac.uk by December 12 2014. Those accepted for the workshop will be notified by early February.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton, the catalyst for the establishment of the unique Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Institute is based on the life work of the Reverend Dr James Parkes (1896-1981), one of the most remarkable figures within twentieth century Christianity. A tireless fighter against antisemitism in all forms, including from within Christianity, he helped rescue Jewish refugees during the 1930s and campaigned for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. During the Second World War he helped found the Council of Christians and Jews and worked throughout his career in promoting religious tolerance and mutual respect. As part of his international campaigning, he built up the Parkes Library and associated archive which transferred to the University of Southampton in 1964 and opened in 1965. It is now one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and the only one in the world devoted specifically to Jewish/non-Jewish relations.

This anniversary conference will examine the subject of Jewish/non-Jewish relations by looking at the history of research over the last 50 years, presenting the latest research in this area, and determining future directions in the field. We welcome proposals covering any subject related to Jewish/non-Jewish relations from antiquity to the present day, with proposals for papers (and panels) in the following areas especially welcome:

  • The legacy of James Parkes
  • Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
  • Rabbinic literature and the representation of the ‘other’
  • Medieval and Early Modern Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • History of antisemitism
  • Comparative migration and identity
  • The Holocaust and Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in literature and philosophy
  • Representation and constructions of the image of ‘the Jew’
  • Jews and non-Jews in the Visual and Performing Arts
  • The role and representation of Jews in the heritage world, including museums, libraries and archives.

Keynote speakers

Todd Endelman, Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History, University of Michigan

Sander Gilman, Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University

Martin Goodman, Professor of Jewish Studies, Oxford University, and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Tony Kushner, Marcus Sieff Professor of the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, University of Southampton and the Parkes Institute

Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Queen Mary University of London

Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, University of Edinburgh

Venue and Conference Information

7-9 September 2015, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.

Submission of paper proposals

Please submit proposals by 1 April 2015 to Dr Helen Spurling (H.Spurling@southampton.ac.uk), including the following information:

  • Author’s full name
  • Postal and email address
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Abstract of the paper to be presented (no more than 250 words)
  • Biographical information (no more than 50 words)
  • Panel proposals should not exceed one page in length
  • A limited number of bursaries will be available on a competitive basis for postgraduates and early career researchers. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

For further information, please visit: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/parkes/jubilee/index.page?

For academic enquiries, please contact: H.Spurling@southampton.ac.uk

For general enquiries, please contact: parkes@southampton.ac.uk

Project leaders:

  • Dr Alison Salvesen (University of Oxford)
  • Prof. Sarah Pearce (University of Southampton)
  • Dr Miriam Frenkel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
  • Dr Dorothy Peters (Trinity Western University, Canada)

For Jews in ancient and medieval Palestine and the Diaspora, the land of Egypt was a real place and also an abstract notion shaped by scriptural texts. The nation-defining episode of the Exodus of the Israelites, the unequivocal injunction in the Torah not to return to Egypt (Deut 17:16) and the negative attitude of biblical writers in general towards Egypt, existed in tension with the fact of Jewish residence there. Jewish settlements in Egypt ranged from the time of Jeremiah, to the Jewish military garrison in Elephantine during the Persian period, to major settlements and above all the huge urban community in Alexandria under the Ptolemies and Romans. Though all these disappear in the second century following the revolt of 115–17 CE and the extermination of the Jews of Egypt under Trajan, the presence of Jews is attested again in the fifth century by patristic writers, and then through Byzantine and Islamic rule into the medieval period, principally by the documents preserved in the Cairo Geniza.

The ‘Israel in Egypt’ project addresses a number of questions about identity and belonging among Egyptian Jews over the course of one and a half millennia.

  1. Did Jewish communities in the Persian and Graeco-Roman periods regard themselves as exiles from their homeland, or as legitimate and even divinely approved outposts of Judaism?
  2. How did Jews in Egypt interpret their relationship to the land of Egypt and its inhabitants?
  3. How did the Roman conquest of Egypt change Jewish/non-Jewish relations in Egypt?
  4. What difference did the existence or cessation of the Jerusalem Temple make to Egyptian Jewish identity over the period?
  5. How did Jews negotiate rule by monotheistic Christians and then Muslims, in comparison with their strategies under pagan Roman domination? Was there total cultural amnesia with regard to previous Jewish settlement in Egypt? Were Jewish anxieties regarding living in Egypt the same as for previous generations, or different ones?
  6. What significance do the changing patterns of language use by Egyptian Jews have for ethnic and religious identity?
  7. Over the period studied, how did Jews in Palestine and the rest of the Diaspora regard Egypt and the presence of their co-religionists there?

Key sources for Jewish life in Egypt include the Aramaic Elephantine documents and a large corpus of Greek papyri written about or by Jews, the Zenon papyri, Jewish inscriptions from Leontopolis, Demerdash and other sites, the wide range of Hellenistic Jewish literature including the bulk of the LXX, the works of Philo of Alexandria, and the writings of Flavius Josephus. For the early Islamic period there are many papyri bearing indirect testimony to Jewish life in Egypt, and for the medieval period there is the vast collection of documents produced by Jews and preserved for centuries in the Cairo Geniza.

Weekly seminars will be convened through the duration of two Oxford terms, 17th January– 12th March, and 24th April–18th June 2016. These will offer a forum for the Fellows of the project to address central research topics related to the overall theme of the seminar. The findings of the Research Project will be presented at a concluding conference which will be open to the academic community. Fellows will be invited to present a paper at this conference.

Visiting Fellows will receive a stipend of £2,500 per calendar month (pro rata) for the period of tenure and travelling expenses up to £500. The Centre offers advice to Visiting Fellows on the location of suitable accommodation in Oxford, for which it is prudent to expect to use up to £1,750 of the monthly stipend. Visiting Fellows are provided with shared office space in the Clarendon Institute Building in the centre of Oxford, where the Leopold Muller Library is housed and where most of the Centre’s academic staff have their offices.

Applications by senior scholars, and by scholars at postdoctoral and advanced doctoral level, are all welcome. Preference will be given to proposals which involve use of any special resources available in Oxford.

Closing date for applications: 9th January 2015.

For more detailed information and the application procedure see http://www.ochjs.ac.uk/academics/visiting-academics/visiting-fellows/ or contact:

Prof. Sarah Pearce S.J.Pearce@soton.ac.uk; Dr Alison Salvesen alison.salvesen@orinst.ox.ac.uk

CLOSING DATE: 16 JANUARY 2015

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies invites proposals from individuals or institutions wishing to direct an Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies in 2016–2017 or 2017-2018.

The Centre will host up to two Seminars in Oxford in each of the academic years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. In each academic year individual seminars will be convened either from mid October to mid March or from mid January to mid June.

Each group will convene in weekly seminars through the duration of two Oxford terms, which in 2016- 2017 will be from 9 October to 3 December, 15 January to 11 March, and 23 April to 17 June. In 2017-2018 the terms will run from 8 October to 2 December, 14 January to 10 March, and 22 April to 16 June. These meetings will offer a forum for the Fellows to address central research topics related to the overall theme of the project. One or more publications will be expected as a product of each Seminar.

Each Seminar will be based on a core of visiting fellows, who will participate in the work of the research group for the full six months in conjunction with a larger number of fellows who will attend for shorter periods. Each Seminar can expect funding for up to the equivalent of seven fellows in residence for six months.

Visiting Fellows will receive a stipend, including a sum to cover accommodation and travelling expenses. Visiting Fellows are provided with shared office space in the Clarendon Institute Building in the centre of Oxford, where the Leopold Muller Library is housed and where most of the Centre’s academic staff have their offices.

Proposals are invited for research groups in any area of Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Preference will be given to projects with a clear research rationale which involve use of any special resources available in Oxford.

Proposals, in not more than two pages, should include the following information:

  1. Title of Seminar
  2. Seminar leaders
  3. Description of subject
  4. Methods to be used to ensure best value from collaborative research
  5. Possibilities for innovation through the research project
  6. Reasons why Oxford is particularly appropriate as the venue for the seminar
  7. Value of the Seminar for the development of Jewish Studies as an academic subject
  8. Some suggestions of scholars who might fruitfully be invited to participate in such a project

Please attach a brief curriculum vitae of each Seminar leader.

The Centre will inform applicants in early February 2015 which proposals have been selected for further consideration and may request further information from proposers before the final decision in mid March 2015.

Please send your proposal to the Registrar, Martine Smith-Huvers, at registrar@ochjs.ac.uk by 16 January 2015.

Closing date for applications: 16 January 2015

For information on previous Seminars held at the Centre see http://www.ochjs.ac.uk/academic- activities/previous-research-projects-osajs/, and on the Seminars held in 2013-2014 and to be held in 2014-2015, see: http://www.ochjs.ac.uk/academic-activities/oxford-seminar-in-advanced-jewish- studies-in-2013/

‘Auschwitz has become a site of memory with a future, and it has thus become another tourist site with all the required amenities, a “must” on any itinerary.’ (Sicher, Breaking Crystal: 21)

Formerly locations of abject horror, the concentration camps have arguably been transformed into tourist hotspots, available as part of package deals complete with tour guides, audio-guide headsets, and pertinent photo opportunities. The concentration camps might have remained stationary in a physical or geographical sense, but their topography has not maintained its horrific essence, and their cultural meaning has shifted substantially. The diachronic shift of the last seventy years has thus – perhaps -facilitated a usurpation of the camps, which have come to be experienced simultaneously as loci of remembrance and profanations against memory.

The concentration camps are experienced temporally and spatially: you can physically go to the camps and you can learn of the camps from the pages of history. Notwithstanding, neither historical nor spatial distancing suffices in order to assuage the horror. Primo Levi suggested that at the moment of the horror, one could not conceive it at its full magnitude; he argued that the victim ‘felt overwhelmed by an enormous edifice of violence and menace but could not form for himself a representation of it because his eyes were fastened to the ground by every single minute’s needs’ (The Drowned and the Saved: 6). Levi’s concern at the time was that the Lagers did not provide a good ‘observation post’ (6) from which to fully comprehend the true scope of the catastrophe therein. The question now, is whether in addition to the perspective gained from spatial distance, we might have gained perspective through temporal lapse; if so, what kind of new and different perspectives has this distance provided? The seventy year milestone allows us to engage with these questions, inviting, perhaps, objective – or, more objective – perspectives on these questions.

In a Lefebvrian sense, space is socially constructed and the concentration camps are a particularly apt example. We would like to invite not only papers that explore the topography of the camps – from historical, sociological, and artistic perspectives – but also papers that examine the camps’ topology. Utilising a topological methodology in relation to the camps may facilitate some fascinating approaches: for instance, notions of continuity and (dis)connectedness; the manner in which boundaries are experienced and delineated in the camps; and the proximity to neighbouring populations that can be read both literally and metaphorically.

Within the discussion of the Holocaust, the concentration camps hold a pivotal position: as the sites of mass destruction, and the culmination of the Nazi enterprise, the camps are the embodiment of Nazi cruelty and efficiency. This multidisciplinary conference will explore representations of the camps in literature and art in an attempt to discern the lessons and legacies of the Holocaust more broadly; historical accounts and sociological perspectives may also yield further insight into the role of the concentration camps in the perception of the Holocaust at large. This conference invites papers that explore the unresolved questions that the concentration camps pose within political, historical, and cultural discourses.

In addition to the main issue of the conference, we are also interested in papers that explore the following:

  • Representations of concentration camps in art and literature
  • Cultural Representations of Nazi persecution
  • The Jewish Shoah
  • Lessons and legacies of the Holocaust
  • Historical accounts
  • Sociological perspectives (e.g., gender roles in the concentration camps)
  • The ethics of representation
  • Perpetrator perspectives
  • Geographical and topological explorations of the concentration camps
  • Morality at and after Auschwitz
  • Trauma and Survivors’ Narratives

 

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Sue Vice (University of Sheffield)

Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann (Birkbeck University)

Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani (University of Kent)

 

The conference will be held at the Jewish Museum in London 6-8 January 2015. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Vered Weiss and Jo Pettitt at tracingtopographies@kent.ac.uk by 29 August 2014.                                    

Johannes Pfefferkorn and the dispersion of his texts

The beginning of the sixteenth century saw the arrival of a new genre of polemical writing about Jews and Judaism, viz. ethnographical books that aimed at providing their readers with revealing knowledge about Jews, their rituals, and their customs. Among the most prominent of these writers was the Moravian Jew, Johannes Pfefferkorn (c. 1469–1523), a converted Jew who joined forces with the Dominicans in Cologne to publish a series of books and pamphlets that attacked the Jews’ way of life. His aim was to draw the Jews “into the light” and expose their anti-Christian behaviour. Furthermore, he called for the destruction of Jewish books, a stance that brought him into direct conflict with the humanist Johann Reuchlin. Pfefferkorn’s works were soon translated into other German and Scandinavian languages as well as Latin, and thus rapidly spread to areas that remained unaffected by the local conflicts and debates in Cologne. Furthermore, Pfefferkorn’s publications about the religion of his birth did not remain the only example of writings by converts that shaped images of Jews in the early modern era.

Aim of the conference

The conference aims to draw together scholars of medieval and early modern ethnographical writing about Jews and of Jewish-Christian relations as well as to offer a forum for discussion and methodological innovation. Areas of interest might include:

  • Pfefferkorn and early modern antisemitism
  • Elements of Pfefferkorn’s enterprise and their broader history
  • The ethnographical aspect of Pfefferkorn’s works and the emergence of critical research on Jewish texts and rituals
  • The various versions and translations of Pfefferkorn’s works
  • Other sixteenth-century converts who write about Jews, such as Victor von Carben, Anthonius Margaritha, Ernst Ferdinand Hess, and Paulus Staffelsteiner

Keynote Speakers

Yaacov Deutsch ([Head of] History Department, David Yellin College, and History Department, Hebrew University), author of Judaism in Christian Eyes: Ethnographic Descriptions of Jews and Judaism in Early Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Participation

The conference organisers welcome submissions from scholars working in all disciplines and all areas of late medieval and early modern culture and Jewish-Christian relations. The conference seeks to offer a meeting ground for established scholars as well as younger researchers. Please send a title and a short abstract (about 200 words) to the organisers Cordelia Heß (cordelia.hess@historia.su.se) and Jonathan Adams (jonathan.adams@nordiska.uu.se) before 1 October 2014.

Conference Theme

The dramatic modern processes of secularization, urbanization and immigration have made Jewish traditions an object of nostalgia, rejection, national pride, and ethnographic research, or various mixtures of these attitudes and practices. From the days of the Haskala movement to today, playwrights, theatre and film directors and other artists have been fascinated by Jewish history, folklore, rituals and tropes. Focusing on Eastern European Jewish culture, but without excluding other Jewish traditions, this conference aims to ask: How are lost or disappearing traditions being staged and re-imagined? What happens when past events and practices return as constructed memories, fantasies or gestures? How do specific art media shape these cultural translations?

In today’s highly departmentalized world, film, theatre, performance and literature are rarely studied together. The conference aims to discuss these various media together, focusing on their common tendency to display, re-imagine and perform what may belong to the past but still haunts the present, and to bring into dialogue scholars of various cultures (Yiddish, Hebrew, German, and Polish) to examine Jewish culture in the broader contexts of European and American culture, in order to facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion not limited to the field of Jewish Studies.

Time and place

Monday-Tuesday, 26-27 January 2015,Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Clarendon Institute Building, Oxford

Travel and accommodation

Travel expenses for speakers will be reimbursed up to certain limits (depending on location). Accommodation in Oxford will be provided to conference participants for the duration of the conference.

Proposals

Researchers from all knowledge areas are invited to submit a proposal for their papers. Please send an abstract of 300-500 words together with a short CV to Zehavit Stern: zehavit.stern@orinst.ox.ac.uk no later than October 1st. Please include your contact information and specify the location from which you would be traveling to the conference. All proposals are subject to a review process.

Funded by the European Research Council (ERC)

Hosted by the Dpt. of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University

With keynotes from Hans Belting, Lindsay Jones, Christian Lange, Birgit Meyer, and Leigh Eric Schmidt

“The aesthetics of crossing: experiencing the beyond in Abrahamic traditions” is a three-day, interdisciplinary, international conference dedicated to studying the manifold ways in which the body experiences and, at times, traverses the perceived divide between the sacred and the profane. Because religious boundaries are not necessarily registered or crossed by the body in its entirety but by one or a number of its senses, the conference is structured around the body’s senses, including the inner, more incorporeal ones such as the faculty of the imagination. The conference seeks: (a) to produce insights, drawn from the study of primary body-related data (texts, images, objects, practices, etc.), into how the body is the vehicle and agent of religious boundary-crossing; (b) to examine how such conceptualizations and uses of the body are both affirmed and contested within religious and secular traditions; and (c) to locate the study of the body and its boundary-crossing potential in the recent disciplinary and political transformations in the study of religion across the Humanities.

“The aesthetics of crossing: experiencing the beyond in Abrahamic traditions” marks the end of a series of scholarly consultations organized within the framework of HHIT (“The here and the hereafter in Islamic traditions”), a four-year research project funded by the European Research Council and hosted at Utrecht University (http://hhit.wp.hum.uu.nl/). HHIT has been primarily invested in studying Muslim cosmologies and imaginaries, seeking to trace and locate the various boundaries, often unstable and permeable, that divide this world from the otherworld in a variety of Islamic religious discourses and practices. This conference seeks to broaden the work of HHIT in several directions, and to stimulate discussion across disciplines such as Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Literature, History of Art, and others.

Paper proposals (< 500 words) are solicited in the following areas, as outlined in the full CfP at this link:

http://tinyurl.com/kj6qc2t

For further information, please contact the conference organizers, Christian Lange (Utrecht University) and Simon O’Meara (SOAS, London), at aestheticsofcrossing[at]gmail.com

Neighbours: Relations between Jews and non-Jews throughout History

In 2001, Polish-American historian Jan T. Gross published a controversial monograph entitled Neighbours in which he described the destruction of the Jewish community in the Polish city of Jedwabne at the hands of the local Polish population. The term neighbour became synonymous with the suffering of the Jews at the hands of the non-Jewish locals. Relations between Jews and non-Jews throughout history are often depicted as full of prejudice, mistrust, violence, pogroms and murder. Authors often debate the impossibility of a beneficial multicultural and multiethnic coexistence between the Jewish and non-Jewish locals. They also conjecture that it was this impossibility of coexistence that ultimately led to the collapse of the European Jewish world in the twentieth century, but also to the subsequent complicated establishment of the Jews in other parts of the world. However, looking at the history of the Jewish people all over the world, we also need to consider the benefits of the coexistence between the Jews and other people. The moments of crisis were often followed by centuries of peaceful coexistence, where interactions between communities led to political, cultural and spiritual developments and improvements. The Jews and their neighbours maintained close relations, influenced each other and created bonds that beneficially shaped the lives of both communities throughout the centuries.

Since antiquity the Jews have lived side by side with other peoples. With the geographic dispersion of the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple and their gradual settlement in Europe, Asia, Africa and later in the ‘New World’, the interactions between the Jews and other communities invariably increased. The purpose of the conference is to convene scholars who are involved in academic research of Jewish/non-Jewish (however defined) relations throughout the centuries. We intend to offer a multifaceted perspective on the lives of the Jews and their rich interactions with their neighbours all over the world.

We welcome papers that address the issue of Jewish coexistence with other peoples from diverse perspectives, including:

  • Interactions between the Jews and non-Jews throughout centuries
  • Ancient Israel and its neighbours
  • Cultural and spiritual interactions between the Jews and other communities
  • Influence of other communities on Jewish languages
  • Impact of Jews and Judaism on other communities
  • Impact of other communities on Jews and Judaism
  • Judaism and other religious communities
  • Jewish communities and their neighbours in the modern era
  • Modern Israel and its neighbours
  • Violence in Jewish history
  • Representation of Jews and their neighbours in film and literature
  • Proposals for special sessions (roundtables, film screenings or discussions of new book releases) will also be considered.

 Papers on other topics will be considered but preference will be given to those bearing directly on the conference theme.

Please submit your paper proposal by 1 September 2014 to Dr Jan Láníček via email J.Lanicek@unsw.edu.au. The Subject of the message should be ‘AAJS UNSW 2015 Proposal’ (All applicants will be informed about the decision by 31 October 2014).

Submissions must include the following:

  • Applicant’s full name and institutional affiliation
  • Postal and email address
  • Abstract of the paper to be presented (no more than 250 words)
  • Short biographical note (no more than 50 words).

AAJS encourages students engaged in academic research to submit proposals based on their work to the conference committee. Authors should clearly indicate their student status on their submission.

Presenters are also invited to submit written articles for consideration for publication in the Australian Journal for Jewish Studies.

Communication about the conference should be sent electronically to Dr Jan Láníček, email: J.Lanicek@unsw.edu.au

Conference Committee

  • Dr Jan Láníček, Conference Convener
  • Dr Michael Abrahams-Sprod, AAJS President
  • Professor Suzanne Rutland OAM
  • Michael Misrachi
  • Dr Avril Alba
  • Dr Myer Samra
  • Dr Miriam Munz
  • Neta Steigrad
  • Anna Rosenbaum
  • Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann

As this Conference addresses a small community of scholars, it is imperative that we all support the Association. Thus, it is a requirement that all presenters at this conference must have paid the conference registration fee, which includes the AAJS membership for 2014, by 10 January 2015. Visit www.aajs.org.au for details.

For further information, to submit proposals and to register for the conference, please go to http://www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/bajs-conference/.

BAJS-2015-poster

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