Hall Center For The Humanities


Eliza Slavet, Keynote Speaker
Program in Jewish Studies

"Narratives of Jewish Life and Jewish Studies"
Special Events

Sun., Apr. 3, 2011, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Continues on April 4th
Location: Hall Center Conference Hall

The Program in Jewish Studies and the Hall Center for the Humanities invites faculty, students and members of the public to the symposium, "Narratives of Jewish Life and Culture, and Jewish Studies." Panelists will explore whether and how narrative theory can provide an integrated approach for uniting the various heterogeneous disciplines that now constitute the composite field of Jewish Studies.

Narrative theory turns our attention to the importance of narratives-stories, accounts-in structuring our perceptions of ourselves, cultural artifacts, and our physical and social worlds. As disciplinary boundaries have become increasingly blurred, and understood as cultural constructions, scholars have come to understand that disciplines themselves have a meta-story of the methods, focus, scholarship, and goals of their fields. Focusing this conference on narratives within and across the discipline of Jewish Studies provides us with an inclusive conceptual model that can move the field beyond classic boundaries to produce a truly integrated interdisciplinary or even transdisciplinary program that coheres by virtue of its thematic emphasis.

The keynote address will take place on Sunday, April 3 at 4:00 p.m. in the Hall Center Conference Hall. Eliza Slavet, Visiting Scholar in Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, will speak on "Freud, Jewishness and the Development of Psychoanalysis." Slavet's recent book, Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question (Fordham University Press, 2009) won the Gradiva Award for Best Historical Book from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and was a finalist for Best First Book in the History of Religions from the American Academy of Religion.

Sunday April 3, 2011

9:00: Session I: "Narratives and Performance: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Textual and Political Transformations"

Caryn Aviv, Posen Lecturer in Secular Jewish Culture, Center for Judaic Studies, University of Denver: "(S)Torah In Flagrante: Radical Approaches to Exploring Narrative through Jewish Ritual Theater"

Joyce Antler, Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture, Brandeis University: "Women's Liberation and Narratives of (Jewish) Identity:  How Radical Feminists Tell the Story of a Profound Social Transformation"

Respondent: Cheryl Lester, Associate Professor of American Studies and English

11:00 Session II: "Minority Discourses Challenging Hegemonic Representations and 'Truths,' Emerging Consciousness, Subaltern Identities, and Challenges to Hegemonic Narratives"

Joelle Bahloul, Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University: "Narratives of Post-Colonial Exile: Sephardi and Mizrahi Diasporic Consciousness"

Amy Horowitz, Scholar in Residents, Lecturer, Melton Center for Jewish Studies and International Studies, The Ohio State University: "'This Land is my Land, Your Land is My Land': Dualing (Dueling) Narratives With(In) Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalem"

Respondent: John Younger, Professor of Classics and Chair, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

1:00 Break for Lunch

2:00 Session III: "What's the Story? Narrativity in the Field and Beyond It"

Jonathan Boyarin, Leonard ad Tobee Kaplan Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Thought, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "The Shul That Wouldn't Sit Still (for Its Ethnographic Portrait)"

Naomi Seidman, Professor of Jewish Culture, Graduate Theological Union, University of California at Berkeley: "The End of the Story: Secularization, Assimilation, and Jewish Narrativity"

Respondent: Henry Bial, Associate Professor of Theatre, Acting Director, Program in Jewish Studies

4:00 Keynote Address

Eliza Slavet, Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego: "Freud, Jewishness and the Development of Pscyhoanalysis"

Respondent: David Smith, Professor of Sociology

The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) has awarded Professor Slavet's recent book, Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question, the 2010 Gradiva Award.

5:30  Reception

Monday April 4

9:00 Session IV:  "Multidisciplinary Approaches to Narrative Readings of The Bible"

Bernard M. Levinson, Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies & Hebrew Bible, Professor of Classical & Near Eastern Studies, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota: "Disciplinary Narratives: Analyzing the Study of the Old Testament in Nazi Germany"

Michah Gottleib, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University: "Biblical Narratives in German-Jewish Philosophy"

Respondent: Molly Zahn, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.

**** This conference is sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies and the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas with the generous support of the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Departments of American Studies, German, History, Religious Studies, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and the College Honors Program.

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