2016/17 Academic Year
The EAJS is pleased to announce that nine events will take place (and in some instances have already taken place) in the 2016/17 academic year as part of the Conference Grant Programme in European Jewish Studies:
- International round-table seminar “How to communicate Jewish cultural heritage: the development of Jewish cultural route in Lithuania” [Kėdainiai, 7 – 8 September 2016]
- Interwoven Regional Worlds: Jews and Christians in Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria, 1349-1648 [Regensburg, 12 – 14 September 2016]
- Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam [Warsaw, 26 – 28 October 2016]
- Letters in the Dust: The Epigraphy, Archaeology, and Conservation of Medieval Jewish Cemeteries [Utrecht, 7 – 8 November 2016]
- 24th International Annual Conference on Jewish Studies and International Youth Conference on Jewish Studies in Moscow [Moscow, 30 January – 2 February 2017]
- Jewish books and their Christian collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia [Oxford, 22 – 23 May 2017]
- New Approaches to the History of the Jews under Communism [Prague, 23 – 25 May 2017]
- Jews on the Move: Exploring the movement of Jews, objects, texts, and ideas in space and time [Edinburgh, 10 – 12 July 2017]
- Jews and Christians between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: Co-existence and Conflict [Budapest; New Dates: 10 – 21 July 2017]
1. International round-table seminar “How to communicate Jewish cultural heritage: the development of Jewish cultural route in Lithuania”
Date and Location: 7 – 8 September 2016 (Kėdainiai)
Mrs Jurgita Verbickienė – Vilnius university, Faculty of History
The international round-table seminar, ‘How to communicate Jewish cultural heritage: the development of Jewish cultural route in Lithuania’, is an important event for the sustainable development of Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania. It aims to unite academics, politicians, businessmen and other stakeholders, in order to promote Jewish heritage, actualization and usage for better education and sustainable tourism. This seminar will bring experts in the fields of Jewish heritage, history, tourism promotion and ‘cultural routes’ together with local initiators to discuss how to develop Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania, its advantages over other routes in the region, how to discover its “diamonds” and promote them, and to determine the next steps. The seminar would also work as a discussion platform for the analyses of Jewish ‘cultural routes’ as means for promoting better understanding of European Jewish history and its heritage. The event will also work as a networking tool creating partnerships necessary for the sustainable development of Jewish ‘cultural route’ in Lithuania.
2. Interwoven Regional Worlds: Jews and Christians in Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria, 1349-1648
Date and Location: 12 – 14 September 2016 (Regensburg)
Prof. Dr. Eva Haverkamp – History Department, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
By focusing on the migrations of Jews as well as on the interactions and connections among Jews and Christians in these regions, the aim of the conference is to explore the various interwoven life worlds of the Jews by applying the concepts of global history on the history of three larger regions. The history of the Jews in the neighboring duchies of Bavaria, Austria and the Kingdom of Bohemia has previously been investigated principally in regard to regionally limited aspects. Given the external factors imposed by the different Christian sovereigns and city municipalities creating rather distinct circumstances for Jews, it appears especially promising to investigate the scope for action open to the Jews beyond their regional communities in the ever-changing conditions in the southeastern parts of the Empire, in particular since these regions played a leading role in the late medieval and early modern times also in a European context.
3. Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Date and Location: 26 – 28 October 2016 (Warsaw)
Dr Marzena Zawanowska – University of Warsaw
Prof. Meira Polliack – Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala – Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Córdoba
One of the most complex and ambivalent characters in the Bible is King David. Traditionally considered to be the pious author of the book of Psalms, a brave warrior and a perfect ruler, he was also a vassal of the Philistine king and a sinner whose morally dubious behaviour is criticized in the Bible itself. Little wonder, therefore, that his image underwent significant interpretative changes in perception and reception in different monotheistic traditions. So far, scholarly research has mostly focused on the ways he was appropriated by some of these traditions in isolation from others. The proposed conference will question this dominant exclusive approach and attempt to scrutinize perceptions and receptions of King David and his book in different monotheistic traditions from late antiquity until the early modern period in a more inclusive fashion. Its aim is to take a new, critical look at the process of biblical creation and subsequent exegetical transformations of this figure, with particular emphasis put on the multilateral fertilization and cross-cultural interchanges among Jews, Christians and Muslims in different genres of their respective religious literature and arts.
4. Letters in the Dust: The Epigraphy, Archaeology, and Conservation of Medieval Jewish Cemeteries
Date and Location: 7 – 8 November 2016 (Utrecht)
Prof Leonard V. Rutgers – Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Dr Ortal-Paz Saar – Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Medieval Jewish cemeteries are found at the crossroads of epigraphy, archaeology and conservation, three disciplines that should, but do not easily, intersect. Much of the epigraphic evidence has been decontextualized when Jewish medieval gravestones have been uprooted and reused as building material. Fortunately, many of them survive in non-original locations, their inscriptions still visible. Conversely, for understandable religious sensitivities, archaeological excavations are not conducted in burial grounds whose headstones are still in situ. Thus, data is analysed as two distinct sets: textual or material, though scholars could benefit from engaging with each other’s records. This workshop aims to provide a forum for collaboration, ultimately reuniting – although figuratively – the medieval funerary inscriptions with the men, women and children they sought to commemorate.
5. 24th International Annual Conference on Jewish Studies and International Youth Conference on Jewish Studies in Moscow
Date and Location: 30 January – 2 February 2017 (Moscow)
Dr. Victoria Mochalova – Sefer Centre, Moscow
Mrs Svetlana Amosova – Sefer Centre, Moscow
Mrs Irina Kopchenova – Sefer Centre, Moscow
This will be the 24th international conference of Jewish studies organised by the Sefer Centre. It brings together researchers of Jewish studies in the post-Soviet space, as well as those who deal with topics related to the Jews in the former Soviet Union. The conference is devoted to the broad theme of Jewish studies, with a large number of panels and sessions (including Bible and Semitic studies, Jewish History, Jewish Thought, Jewish Languages and Literatures, Art and Music, Jewish Material Heritage, Ethno-cultural contacts, and Jewish Topics in the Social and Political Sciences). Over the last 20 years this conference has become an important platform for meeting and exchanging ideas among researchers in the field of Jewish studies in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic countries, Israel, the USA and Europe. This year we are planning to combine our traditional international conference with the conference for young researchers (which is aimed at BA and MA students from Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Baltic countries and others). The main working language of the conference is Russian. English is the second working language.
6. Jewish books and their Christian collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia
Date and Location: 22 – 23 May 2017 (Oxford)
Dr Rahel Fronda – Christ Church College, University of Oxford and the Bodleian Library
Professor Joanna Weinberg – Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, UK
Professor Jan Joosten – Christ Church College, University of Oxford, UK
The role of the library as a crucial element for ‘reader communities’ has become a central issue of scholarly debate. How were book collections acquired and assembled, and in what way could they be said to represent the cultural universe of their owners? The purpose of this conference is to consider this crucial question in relation to the widespread phenomenon of Hebrew books read, collected, deposited, and sometimes catalogued in the libraries of Christian scholars and merchants, as well as in universities and theological seminaries. We will explore the diverse reasons for collecting Hebrew books, how they were collected, and whether confessional difference affected the criteria for building libraries? The discussions will range from Europe to the New World.
7. New Approaches to the History of the Jews under Communism
Date and Location: 23 – 25 May 2017 (Prague)
Dr. Kateřina Čapková – Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences
Dr. Kamil Kijek – Department of Jewish Studies, University of Wrocław
Dr. Stephan Stach – Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences
The experience of Jews under Communist regimes became a hotly debated topic of historiography after the 1950s. Until the 1980s, the Cold War propaganda exerted a powerful influence on the interpretations published on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’. Even after the collapse of the Communist regimes, most works have focused on the relationship between the State and the Jews and the role of Jews in the Communist/Socialist movements. The aim of our conference is to go beyond this political and ideological framework. We are especially interested in contributions focused on the everyday life of Jews, Jewish religious and secular organizations, and the possibilities of ‘being Jewish’ under Communism. It will be the first time that specialists on the history of Jews in different east-central and eastern European states will meet and discuss the different Jewish experiences in those countries, including comparisons with the Soviet model.
8. Jews on the Move: Exploring the movement of Jews, objects, texts, and ideas in space and time
Date and Location: 10 – 12 July 2017 (Edinburgh)
Dr Hannah Holtschneider – School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Dr Nina Fischer – School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
The annual conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies will investigate the theme of ‘movement’ from antiquity to the present. From the earliest accounts, travel and migration, movement across space and time, characterise Jewish history and culture. No less crucial than the movement of people is the movement of texts, objects, and ideas, which travel both physically and intellectually as generations in distant locations engage with these at different times and places. Jews themselves are associated with travel and migration, historically and in cultural production. This conference invites contributions of papers within the broad theme of the conference.
9. Jews and Christians between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: Co-existence and Conflict
New Dates: 10 – 21 July 2017
Prof. Istvan Perczel – Medieval Studies, Central European University Budapest
Prof. Alexandra Cuffel – Centre for Religious Studies, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
This summer school will serve to introduce MA and doctoral students as well as researchers in their early careers to the history of Jewish-Christian relations in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Arabia, Ethiopia, and South India from the rise of Islam to the eighteenth century CE. The course will explore the effect on Jewish-Christian relations of such issues as imagined Jewish identities (Armenia and Ethiopia), equal power relationships between Jews and Christians (Middle East and India), Jews as a political/military threat to Christians (Ethiopia), Jews and Christians in the same trade guild (South India) as well as Jews in a minority status in non-Western Christian states (Byzantium, Caucasus, Ethiopia). It serves to challenge stereotypes and teach new approaches to history.