Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conference: "The Spatial Turn in Jewish Studies"

Conference:  "The Spatial Turn in Jewish Studies"

Over the past decade the term "Jewish Space" has become ubiquitous.  But it takes on different meanings in different fields of study, and amongst different generations of scholars.  But we can see across the field of Jewish Studies a greater appreciation of the role of space and place, and how objects and individuals - and even texts - have been made, used, cherished, and discarded in real space over time.  Judaism does not reside just in spirit or in text.  It has developed, thrived, suffered and lives today in space(s).  And spaces are not neutral.  They influence and interact with the activities and the physical things that fill them and vice versa  - what we might call a "mutual animation society".

This Sunday in New York is the latest of several conferences that recognize (in the words of the great jazzman Sun Ra) that "space is the place".  It all sounds interesting - wish I could be there.

The Spatial Turn in Jewish Studies

Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The Jewish Theological Seminary
Mendelson Convocation Center
3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City

 9:30 a.m.        Coffee
10:00 a.m.      Opening Remarks

Alan Cooper, provost, The Jewish Theological Seminary

"Space Matters"
Barbara Mann, The Jewish Theological Seminary

10:30 a.m.      Text/Culture/Memory

Chair: Stefanie Siegmund, The Jewish Theological Seminary

"The Topography of Torah: Spatial Categories in the Study of Late Antique Rabbinic Culture"
Gil Klein, Loyola Marymount University

"Space, Memory, and the 'Return to the Bible' in Israeli Culture"
Yael Zerubavel, Rutgers University

"A Baedeker to Buczacz: Agnon as Tour Guide"
Alan Mintz, The Jewish Theological Seminary

2:00 p.m.        Geography/Landscape/

            Chair: Barbara Mann

            "Mapping Language Diversity in a Hebrew Society: A Spatial
            Approach to the Cultural History of the Yishuv"
            Liora Halperin, Princeton University

            "Space and Place in Diaspora Tourism"
            Shaul Kelner, Vanderbilt University

            "Jewish Architecture and the Memory of the Holocaust"
            Gavriel Rosenfeld, Fairfield University

4:30 p.m.        Closing Reception

This program is cosponsored by the Zvia Ginor Fund, The Jewish Theological Seminary, the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and Prooftexts:  A Journal of Jewish Literary History.

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