Fall 2016 Schedule

September 26, 6-7:30 PM: Welcome Dinner at the home of Professor Paul Mendes-Flohr. Please RSVP by September 23rd to Anna Band (aband@uchicago.edu) and David Cohen (davidc1@uchicago.edu) for the address.

October 10, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Erik Dreff (PhD Candidate, Divinity): “The Psychology of the Intellectual Love of God in Spinoza.”

October 31, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 130: *Guest Speaker* Professor Shachar Pinsker (Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture, University of Michigan): “A Rich Brew: Urban Cafes and Modern Jewish Culture.” Co-sponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies (CCJS) and the History of Judaism Club. 

November 7, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Matthew Johnson (PhD Student, German): “A tsveyter: Paul Celan in Yiddish.” Respondent: Kirsten Collins (MA Student, Divinity).

November 14, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Visiting Professor Guy Stroumsa (Professor of Comparative Religion, Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “Beyond Utopia: Avatars of the Promised Land — A Comparative Reflection on the History of the Concept of the Holy Land in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Co-sponsored by the Philosophy of Religions Workshop. 

November 21, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 148: Yoni Shemesh (PhD Student, Divinity): “Narboni on Maimonides’ Classification of Evil and Job’s Attainment.”

November 28, 4:30-6 PM, Harper 130: Visiting Professor Sarah Stroumsa (Professor of Arabic Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “The Literary Genizot: A Window to a Mediterranean Republic of Letters.” Co-sponsored by the Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT) Workshop and the Islamic Studies Workshop.

Spring 2016 Schedule

*Wednesday, March 30, 5-6:30 pm: Katerina Capkova, “Kehile or Club? Being Jewish in Communist Poland and Czechoslovakia” (224 SSD [John Hope Franklin room], co-sponsored with Modern Europe workshop)

Monday, April 11, 4:30-6: Benny Bar-Lavi (PhD Student, History), “Judaizing Machiavelli: anti-Judaism in the Spanish anti-Machiavellian tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries”
*Wednesday, April 13: AAJR at UChicago
Monday, April 18, 4:30-6: David Cohen (MA Student, Div School), “Yitzhak Ibn- Latif: A Mystical Philosopher or a Philosophical Mystic? A Commentary on Tzror Ha’Mor Chapter five”
Monday, May 2: Tzvi Schoenberg (MA Student, Div School), TBA
*Thursday, May 5, 5-6:20 pm: Sam Shonkoff (PhD Student, Div School), “Sacramental Existence and Embodied Theology in Buber’s Representation of Hasidism” (Swift 208, co-sponsored with the Theology and Religious Ethics Workshop)
*Wednesday, May 11, 5-6:30 pm: Leora Auslander (Professor, History), “Jews at Home in Paris and Berlin, 1918-1933/40”, (224 SSD [John Hope Franklin room], co-sponsored with Modern Europe workshop)
Monday, May 16, 4:30-6: TBA

Monday, June 6: Closing Dinner

Autumn Quarter Schedule

Schedule, Autumn Quarter, 2015
*Please allow for minor changes resulting from unforeseen circumstances

  • Sunday-Monday, October 18-19:  Conference – Martin Buber: Philosopher of Dialogue (The Spertus Institute with the University of Chicago Divinity School)
    In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Buber’s death, this two-day conference brings together leading scholars from around the country to generate new questions and reflections at the heart of Buber’s thought. See more at http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martin-buber-philosopher-dialogue
  • Tuesday, October 20, 4:30-6: Toshihiro Horikawa (Kyoto University / Uni. Heidelberg), “Buber’s I-Thou philosophy in Buddhism and Taoism”, Stuart Hall 104 (Co-Sponsored with the Philosophy of Religion Workshop)
  • Monday, October 26: Mid-Western Inter-University Workshop in Jewish Studies (MIUWJS). More details to follow.
  • Tuesday, November 3, 4:30-6: Chelsie May (PhD Student, NELC), “Levantinism, Youth Aliyah and The Image of Jacqueline Kahanoff: The Authorship of RAMAT-HADASSAH-SZOLD: YOUTH ALIYAH AND CLASSICATION CENTRE” (Location TBD)
  • Tuesday, November 17, 4:30-6: David Cohen (MA Student, Divinity School), Subject TBD (Location TBD)


  • Monday, November 30, 4:30-6: Erik Dreff (PhD Candidate, Divinity School), “Medieval Jewish Sources for Spinoza’s Concept of the Intellectual Love of God: A Reconsideration” (Location TBD)


  •  Tuesday, December 1, 7-8:30: David Frankel (PhD Student, Divinity School), “Saadia Gaon 101” (with UChicago 101’s), (at the Disciples Divinity House)

Call for Papers 2015-16

The Jewish Studies Workshop invites graduate students and faculty to present their work during the upcoming academic year of 2015-16. The Workshop provides an intimate, interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students to engage in vibrant discourse and critical reflection on work and topics that range across all things related to Jews or Judaism. The Workshop is not methodologically or periodically bound and welcomes theoretical, empirical and comparative work from all fields and disciplines. From Jewish language, history, literature and music to religion and philosophy, we aim to engage students and faculty interested in Jewish Studies while encouraging them to think beyond the strictures of institutional disciplines.

Workshop sessions feature discussion of student and faculty work in progress, conference papers, journal articles, dissertation chapters, and special presentations by invited speakers. Through both detailed and general commentary, the presenters are then able to receive a wide array of comments to take into consideration while preparing final versions of their work. Graduate students and faculty from any field, division, or discipline are welcome and encouraged to attend. In addition, the Workshop also invites graduate students to serve as respondents, thus gaining experience in critical assessment of academic work.

The workshop generally meets every other Tuesday at 4:30 pm. If interested in participating – or for more information in general – please contact the workshop coordinators: Yiftach Ofek (yiftach@uchicago.edu) and Anna Band (aband@uchicago.edu).