This is a reminder that proposals for the graduate student workshop, "Rabbis and Others in Conversation," are due on Nov. 1. Princeton University will host a two-day workshop for students of rabbinic literature and ancient Jewish history on 4-5 May 2009. The workshop will center around accounts, found throughout rabbinic literature, of conversations between rabbis and their "others": so-called "heretics" and "idolaters," magicians and philosophers, Roman and Persian officials, members of competing Jewish elites, and so on.
The workshop's focus on these accounts as a literary phenomenon – independent of the specific historical contexts in which the conversations are set – builds on scholarship that has emphasized the need to appreciate the literary nature and context of our texts before historical reconstruction. We hope further to explore the interface between literature and history in the study of ancient Judaism: addressing the ways in which our texts both reflect historical conditions and present attempts to shape those conditions, the extent to which the conversation with the outsider constitutes a literary genre or trope of rabbinic composition, the intended audience of our texts and other related issues.
Each participant will present a paper on a specific text or a group of texts, followed by discussion among students and faculty members from Princeton and elsewhere. We hope that the workshop will foster a sense of community among a generation of emerging scholars working with rabbinic sources by inviting them to share their ideas with one another and to work together on similar texts and methodological questions central to the field. The workshop will also present a unique opportunity for students to study with faculty members of diverse disciplinary and institutional affiliations.
Information for Prospective Participants
Applicants should indicate their chosen text(s) and university affiliation and include a 300 to 400-word abstract of their paper. All submissions are due by 1 November 2008. Participants will be notified by 1 January 2009 and will later be expected to provide their text(s) – including a translation and a preliminary bibliography – for distribution prior to the workshop. All materials should be sent to both Sarit Kattan Gribetz (email@example.com) and Moulie Vidas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Travel subsidies may be available to a limited number of students.
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