Matthew Susnow—House of the Deity: A Perspective from Bronze Age Canaan.

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite to our next event, which will take place next Monday (Nov. 12) at 5:00 p.m., in Swift 201. Matthew Susnow will be presenting a talk entitled House of the Deity: A Perspective from Bronze Age Canaan. Matthew is visiting us all the way from Haifa University, where he has just submitted his doctoral dissertation on Canaanite public spaces. Our very own Emily Thomassen, will be providing a response.
Please join us for what promises to be an illuminating discussion about the religious landscape that preceded the Iron Age.
Light refreshments will be served.
Best wishes,
Aslan Cohen Mizrahi.
For accessibility concerns, please contact me at aslancmiz@uchicago.edu.

Ethan Schwartz—“Rethinking the Comparative Study of Biblical and Ancient Mediterranean Prophecy.”

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you our next event, which will take place on Monday, Nov. 5, in Swift 201. Ethan Schwartz, who is a PhD Candidate in Hebrew Bible at Harvard University, will be presenting his dissertation prospectus: Rethinking the Comparative Study of Biblical and Ancient Mediterranean Prophecy.

Here is the abstract of Ethan’s project:

The contextualization of biblical prophecy against the backdrop of ancient Mediterranean divination is one of the liveliest comparative enterprises in biblical studies today. Many aspects of the Latter Prophets in particular have been shown to have remarkable nonbiblical analogues. However, there is one such aspect that has largely eluded this comparison: the prophets’ critique of established authority on behalf of (what they claim to be) God’s true demands of Israel. This is a significant lacuna because this critique of authority is not just one aspect among many but rather a centrally thematized, orienting idea—so much so that scholars, theologians, and laypeople alike often reflexively use the word “prophetic” as a shorthand for principled opposition to illegitimate authority. Amidst so much continuity between biblical and ancient Mediterranean prophecy, what are we to make of this striking discontinuity? In this presentation, which is an overview of my in-progress dissertation, I argue that it actually stems from a larger incongruence between the two corpora: the biblical prophetic texts have been thoroughgoingly shaped into literature in a way that their nonbiblical counterparts have not been. The prophetic critique of authority must be understood as part of a multifaceted literary project. In light of this, I suggest a new avenue for comparative analysis that offers better prospects for understanding the Latter Prophets’ critique of authority within their ancient Mediterranean context.

We hope to see you all then.

Best,

Aslan Cohen Mizrahi.

 

For accessibility concerns, please contact me at aslancmiz@uchicago.edu.

 

The Job Market for Bible: Two Recent Successes

Monday, October 15, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm, Swift 208

On October 15th, the Hebrew Bible Workshop, the Early Christian Studies Workshop, and the Craft of Teaching will be co-sponsoring an event that will offer a unique, field-specific perspective on the job market. The panel will bring together two DivSchool Professors with two former advisees who have recently been hired as Faculty in institutions of higher learning. On the Hebrew Bible side, Professor Simeon Chavel will be speaking with his former student, Prof. Jacqueline Vayntrub, who received a PhD in Northwest Semitic Philology from UChicago in 2015 and is now serving as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. As for Early Christianity, Professor Margaret M. Mitchell will be speaking with her former advisee, Prof. Allison Gray, who graduated from her PhD in New Testament and Early Christian Literature in 2016, and is now Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University. Together, the panelists represent two field-specific examples of an advisor/advisee relationship that contributed to the latter’s success in the job market. The aim of this session is for the panelists to discuss the main challenges and lessons from their experiences together. To that end, each participant will answer common questions from her own perspective, expecting that sometimes their perspectives on the same issues may not match.

Fall 2018 Schedule.

We are very proud to announce our calendar of events for the fall quarter of 2018. You may download the calendar here.
  • Thursday, October 11, 17:00-18:30, Swift 106: Professor Jennie Grillo, “Sages Standing in God’s Holy Fire”: Reading for Martyrdom in Greek Daniel.
  • Monday, October 15, 17:00-18:30, Swift 208. The Job Market for Bible: Two Recent Successes. A conversation on the academic job market with Professors Margaret Mitchell, Simeon Chavel, Allison Gray and Jacqueline Vayntrub (moderated by Prof. Jeffrey Stackert). Co-sponsored by the HB and ECS Workshops, and The Craft of Teaching.
  • Monday, November 5, 17:00-18:30, Swift 201: Ethan Schwartz, Rethinking the Comparative Study of Biblical and Ancient Mediterranean Prophecy.
  • Monday, November 12, 17:00-18:30, Swift 201:Matthew Susnow, House of the Deity: A Perspective from Bronze Age Canaan.
  • Monday, November 26, 17:00-18:30, Swift 201: Justin Moses, The Meaning of אות in Exodus 3:12.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns, suggestions, or questions.

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone!
 
Yours,
 
Aslan Cohen Mizrahi.

Prof. Jennie Grillo — “‘Sages Standing in God’s Holy Fire’: Reading for Martyrdom in Greek Daniel”

Thursday, October 11, 5:00-6:30 p.m, Swift 106

Dear Colleagues,

We are very excited to announce our first event of the academic year! Please join us Thursday, October 11, at 5:00 p.m in Swift 106, for Professor Jennie Grillo’s presentation “Sages Standing in God’s Holy Fire”: Reading for Martyrdom in Greek Daniel. Professor Grillo is currently working on a book project on the Additions to Daniel in their history of interpretation. In her talk, she will discuss her work on a chapter on how Christians and Jews, especially in Late Antiquity, have found in the Greek versions of Daniel resources for the developing discourses of martyrdom, and how that might help us read the biblical book.
Professor Jennie Grillo teaches courses in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Before coming to Notre Dame she taught at Duke Divinity School, UMass Amherst, Amherst College, and Harvard. She is the author of The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet: Ecclesiastes as Cultural Memory (Oxford University Press 2012), which won a Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award. Her interests include wisdom literature, ideas of idolatry in the Old Testament, the history of the Bible as a book, and reading the Bible through its reception in art, literature, and liturgy.
Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you!
Best,
Aslan Cohen Mizrahi.
For accessibility concerns, please contact me at aslancmiz@uchicago.edu

Call for Papers: 2018-2019 Academic Year

Dear Colleagues,

The Hebrew Bible Workshop is welcoming paper proposals for the new academic year. Acceptable submissions include dissertation chapters, interesting course papers, articles being prepared for publication, or any other interesting proposals.

Aside from the usual format, the Workshop is also accepting submissions of shorter, conference-long papers (approx. 15 min.) to be presented in our “Conference dry-run” sessions, in which two or three students will share their work together. 
In addition, this year the Workshop will be hosting “Performance Sessions,” where presenters are invited to perform/recite any text from ancient Hebrew literature, offer a translation, and conclude with some brief reflections about the text (specifically, we encourage presenters to engage the question of how the performance has informed translational decisions and shaped the perception of its literary quality or meaning.)
 
If you are interested in presenting, please email aslancmiz@uchicago.edu with:
  • a tentative title
  • brief description
  • type of submission
  • your program/department affiliation
  • preferred term to present (Autumn, Winter, or Spring)
Best wishes,
 
Aslan.

Monday, May 21st – Richard Zaleski (Divinity)

Dear colleagues,

Please join us this Monday, May 21st at 5 pm in Swift 208 for a talk on Philo of Alexandria’s Life of Moses by Richard Zaleski, PhD candidate in New Testament and Early Christian Literature (Divinity). This will be our last meeting of the year. We are glad to co-sponsor this talk along with the Early Christian Studies Workshop.
Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you!
Yours,
Joseph Cross
For accessibility concerns, please write jjcross@uchicago.edu.

Critical Editions for Digital Analysis and Research (CEDAR) – Workshop, Friday May 4th

From David Schloen:

All are welcome to attend the CEDAR Project workshop on Friday, May 4, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Regenstein Library, Room A-11 (on the lower level). Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to David Schloen (dschloen@uchicago.edu) if you plan to attend so we know how much food to order.

The ongoing CEDAR Project is described below. On May 4 there will be presentations by project participants—mainly Ph.D. student research assistants—about the computational features that are enabling the work and the progress to date on the initial corpora, i.e., the Sumerian version of the Gilgamesh Epic; the Book of Genesis, chapter 1; and The Taming of the Shrew (presented in that order). Each 45-minute presentation will be followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion, and we will reserve 45 minutes for general discussion at the end. For more information, contact David Schloen.

More information on CEDAR:

CEDAR (Critical Editions for Digital Analysis and Research) is a digital humanities project based at the University of Chicago. This project makes use of OCHRE (the Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment), a powerful computational platform for managing, analyzing, and publishing scholarly data. The OCHRE platform is currently used by dozens of academic projects internationally. The OCHRE server is professionally hosted by the University of Chicago Library and technical support is provided by the staff of the OCHRE Data Service in the university’s Oriental Institute. OCHRE support for CEDAR and some other projects is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. The CEDAR project team will use selected materials from three well known literary corpora that have had great cultural impact and long histories of transmission and translation: the Gilgamesh Epic, the Bible, and Shakespeare’s plays. CEDAR will test and refine new methods of digitally representing, viewing, and analyzing manuscripts, textual variants, and divergent editorial readings—in all their complexity and interrelationships—in order to support the most rigorous textual scholarship, on the one hand, and the teaching of these texts and their histories to students, on the other. The first chapter of the Book of Genesis has been chosen as a test case from the Bible and The Taming of the Shrew from Shakespeare. (In the case of Shakespeare’s plays, “manuscripts” includes the earliest printed editions, with all their variants.) CEDAR will show how the same underlying data model and software can be used for three very different literary corpora written in different historical periods using different languages and writing systems and which today are studied by different communities of scholars. Facsimile images of original manuscripts and scholarly transcriptions, translations, and commentary will all be stored in OCHRE, which will serve as the primary repository for a large body of well curated and reusable data. Researchers will be able to build, enrich, and analyze the CEDAR data in OCHRE. Meanwhile, an open-access CEDAR Web browser application will be provided for easy viewing and searching of this material. The result will be a new kind of online critical edition which can grow and be supplemented by related commentary, translations, and images.

Ron Hendel – Thursday, May 3rd, 3 pm

Dear colleagues,

Please join us Thursday, May 3rd at 3 pm in Swift 106 (note new time and room) for a talk by Ron Hendel, Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, entitled “Exodus, Conquest, and the Alchemy of Memory.” Prof. Hendel has kindly shared his paper with us ahead of time, and asks that we read it and come to the workshop with questions.
 
Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!
Yours,
Joseph Cross
For accessibility concerns, please email jjcross@uchicago.edu

Cathleen Chopra-McGowan – Monday, April 23rd at 5 pm

Dear colleagues,

Please join us Monday, April 23rd at 5 pm (Swift 208) for a talk by Cathleen Chopra-McGowan (PhD candidate, Divinity), “Imagining a New Political Epicenter: Babylonian Imperial Ideology in 2 Kings 24–25.” Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you!

Yours,
Joseph Cross

For accessibility concerns, contact jjcross@uchicago.edu.