This summer, from June 10-12, the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University is excited to be hosting the Biennial Scholars' Conference on American Jewish History. The largest regular gathering of scholars and laypeople interested in the study of the American Jewish past, this year's conference will focus on the theme "Jews and Judaism in the American World of Difference," with panels addressing topics such as the encounter between Jews and Asian Americans; how American Jews were understood in light of ideas about race, medicine, and the body; the Jewish interaction with African American political culture from Civil Rights to Black Power; the engagement of Jewish artists, photographers, and performers with questions of racial and ethnic difference; and the way in which Nazi-era Jewish refugees confronted America's culture of race and difference. Two plenary programs will feature the distinguished U.S. historians Gary Gerstle (Vanderbilt University), author of American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century; and Tom Sugrue (University of Pennsylvania), author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis, each of whom will engage in discussions with leading American Jewish historians about the place of Jews in the larger narrative(s) of U.S. history. Panels will also treat a wide range of other topics relevant to the history of Jews in the United States, including Jews in colonial and Civil-War Era America, the musical legacy of Shlomo Carlebach, the politics of Jewish masculinity, American Zionism in the context of U.S. political and interfaith movements, the forging of a Jewish ethnic economy, and much, much more. Some of our local Emory talent will round out the program: Perry Brickman and Gary Hauk will offer a back-by-popular-demand screening of From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory's Dental School History, and film studies professor Matthew Bernstein will present reflections on moving images of the Leo Frank Case as we mark the 100th anniversary of Frank's famous trail and lynching. A highlight of the conference will be a performance by Atlanta's own Old Fourth Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra, which will add some cultural flair to our examination of Jews and their relationships with other racial and ethnic groups.
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