The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Jewish Studies Graduate Student Association
IMAGINING JEWISH MODERNITIES
April 10, 2005
The Jewish Studies Graduate Student Association at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign invites individual paper proposals for our first annual Graduate Student Colloquium on research related to and constituting the continuing evolution of Jewish Studies. Our theme is the question of how Jews have imagined themselves in, into, and inside a broadly conceived modern Europe, and the various modernities it engendered.
Our goal is to provide an engaging intellectual space in which graduate students from different institutions can gather to collaborate with and learn from one another, as well as to discuss issues surrounding the role of Jewish Studies within the academy. We are especially interested in dialogue between scholars working within Jewish Studies as a discipline and those working on projects involving Jews or Jewishness who engage with a variety of other disciplines.
The vibrant Jewish Studies community at the U of I, created by its young and diverse faculty, is known for its broad outlook and non-traditional perspectives, and yet is critically engaged in exploring the fundamental questions of modern Jewish Studies. We consider the role of faculty in our colloquium as respondents and interlocutors integral to our dialogue, and we encourage all interested faculty at other institutions to attend.
We are excited to announce that our keynote speaker this year will be Professor Naomi Seidman of the University of California, Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union and author of A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (University of California Press, 1997). Professor Seidman will be speaking on her new book project, relating to issues surrounding Yiddish and the cultural politics of translation.
We hope for responses from historians, literary theorists, social scientists, or anyone who is interested in the following questions: How have Jews imagined themselves as part of modern society? In what ways is Jewish European modernity different from either non-European or European modernities? In what ways have Jews used European ideas as a way to articulate distinctively Jewish practices of modernity? We are interested in looking at the syncretic ways that European ideologies, discourses, and practices are and have been appropriated, developed, and undertaken by modern Jewry, and vice versa.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Haskalah and Enlightenment
Jews and Colonialism/imperialism
Zionism and Jewish Nationalism
Jews in relation to other European „minorities"
Yiddish and its world
Jews and the European Union
Modern Jewish cultural and literary production
Assimilation and acculturation
We welcome submissions that are chronologically located anywhere between the Enlightenment and the present day. Proposals should include 250 word abstracts as well the CV‚s of all applicants. While we cannot subsidize travel or hotel expenses, please feel free to contact the organizers if you would like to be hosted by a local graduate student or if you are interested in shared transportation. We also invite you to contact either of the organizers if you are interested in presenting a paper on a topic that is not directly related to the above description.
Please submit all materials either to Jennifer Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rachel Shulman (email@example.com) by 5 January 2005.
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