MONDAY, 11/15/2021: Adi Shiran on Saadia Gaon’s interpretation of Eve & the serpent

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Adi Shiran (PhD Student, Divinity School, The University of Chicago)

“Where did the serpent meet Eve? On an unusual interpretation of Saadia Gaon and its history”

With a response by:

Rachel Katz (PhD Student, Divinity School, University of Chicago)

Monday November 15, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central

To Join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 922 8712 5385 / Passcode: 107586)

Please note there are no materials to read in advance. Abstract:

Questions about the locations in which specific events took place are common in exegetical literature. One such question is: Where did the serpent meet Eve? Or, in other words, was the location of their meeting inside the Garden or outside of it? This question is related to other ancient debates: Where was Adam created? Was Eve created at the same place, and where were the animals created? When was the Garden created? And did animals inhabit it when God gave the order “to dress it and to keep it” (Gen 2:15)?

In his commentary on Genesis 3, Saadia Gaon argues that Eve left the Garden and met the serpent outside of it. This argument might not seem unreasonable, but it is highly unusual. The Rabbinic sources that predated Saadia usually stress that the serpent was inside the Garden when he met Eve. Saadia, however, believes that Eve had to leave the Garden to meet him. In fact, the question itself regarding the location of the meeting is absent from the Rabbinic sources. Why then does Saadia even raise such a question, and why does he offer such an unexpected answer?

This paper will attempt to explain Saadia’s choice not to adopt the typical Rabbinical view and argue that a combined examination of the Judeo-Arabic tradition and the Muslim one sheds light on Saadia’s interpretation. This examination will show 1. That Saadia’s interpretation is not original in the general context of Arabic-written exegetical literature, and 2. That his choice in a divergent opinion might involve certain theological and polemical considerations.

To support these arguments, I will examine some key ideas that circulated in the medieval Jewish and Muslim exegetical traditions. The Judeo-Arabic commentaries which will be explored are those of Saadia’s younger Karaite contemporaries Ya῾kūb al-Qirqisānī and Yefet ben Eli. The interpretations they offer to the “location question” are mostly yet unpublished. The Qur῾ān commentaries which will be examined in this context are those of al-Māwardī and al-Jubbā᾿ī.

 

MONDAY, 11/8/2021: Oren Yirmiya on Franz Kafka and the Talmud Bavli

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:
Oren Yirmiya (PhD Candidate, Department of Middle Eastern Cultures and Languages, UC Berkeley)
“Forgetting the Torah, Losing Halakhah: Tradition and Crisis in
Franz Kafka’s ‘On Parables’ and Talmud Bavli M. Shabbat 138b-139a”

With a response by:

Samuel Catlin (PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature and the Divinity School, University of Chicago)

Monday November 8, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central

**Swift 400**

Oren’s paper, to be read in advance of the session is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

Pre-circulated paper: Oren Yirmiya – Kafka and Talmud – U Chicago workshop

**TUESDAY**, 10/26/2021: Syllabus Workshop— Race and Religion: Theorizing Blackness and Jewishness (Kirsten Collins)

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a teaching & syllabus workshop led by:

Kirsten Collins (PhD Candidate, Divinity School, University of Chicago)

Race and Religion: Theorizing Blackness and Jewishness

***PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE***

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 5:30 PM Central

**Swift 403**

Kirsten’s syllabus, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

Pre-circulated syllabus: collins-syllabus workshop f2021

MONDAY, 10/11/2021: Professor Harriet Murav on Literature of Abandonment and the Russian Civili War

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:
Dr. Harriet Murav (Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
“Hefker: The Literature of Abandonment and the Russian Civil War”
With a response by:
Benjamin Arenstein (PhD Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)
Monday October 11, 2021 at 5:30 Central
**Session will be held via Zoom**
Dr. Murav’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. While we will discuss the paper in its entirety, Dr. Murav has noted that the first eleven pages are on political theory and can be skipped over if participants are so inclined. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.
To join the Zoom meeting, click here
(Meeting ID: 995 9004 6462/ Password: Hefker)

MONDAY, 5/24/2021: Elena Hoffenberg on Liebmann Hersch, National-Cultural Autonomy, and Minority Rights

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Elena Hoffenberg (PhD Student, History, University of Chicago)

“The Danger of Small Numbers:
Liebmann Hersch on National-Cultural Autonomy and Minority Rights”

With a response by:
Anna Band (PhD Candidate, History, University of Chicago)

Monday May 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central (via Zoom)

Elena’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 998 0245 5626 / Password: hersch)

Pre-circulated Paper: Hoffenberg_Jewish Studies Workshop_May 24 2021

MONDAY, 5/17/2021: Stephanie Kraver on Poetry of the First Lebanon War and Ravikovitch’s Representation of the Other

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Stephanie Kraver (PhD Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--Vds66VSAfg/U_OTeEJGqZI/AAAAAAAAGsE/NVBQVAEO37s/s1600/Ravikovitch%2Bx%2BGona.jpg

From Prophetic to Postcolonial Witnessing: 

Poetry of the First Lebanon War and Ravikovitch’s Representation of the Other

With a response by:

Ido Telem (PhD Student, Comparative Literature, University of Chicago)

Monday May 17, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central (via Zoom)

Stephanie’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 953 9833 2525  /  Passcode: 263254)

Pre-circulated Paper: StephanieKraver_LebanonWar_article

MONDAY, 5/3/2021 Eli Rosenblatt on the Politics of Jewishness in Caribbean Suriname

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Eli Rosenblatt, PhD (Visiting Researcher, Northwestern University)

“Creole Ambivalence: Teroenga and the Politics of Jewishness in Caribbean Suriname, 1939-1965”

Monday May 3, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central (via Zoom)

Eli’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 956 0374 2733 / Password: Jewishness )

Pre-circulated Paper: Rosenblatt_CreoleAmbivalence

MONDAY, 4/19/2021: Kirsten Collins on Judaism, Race and Religion in Postwar France

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Kirsten Collins (PhD Student, Divinity School, University of Chicago)

“W(h)it(e)ness: Judaism, Race and Religion in Postwar France”

With a response by:

Samuel Catlin (PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature and the Divinity School, University of Chicago)

Monday April 19, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central (via Zoom)

Kirsten’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 938 2513 5149 / Password: Collins )

Pre-circulated Paper: Collins_Jewish Studies Workshop Proposal Draft

MONDAY, 4/12/2021: Nurit Siegal on the Origins of Modern Antisemitism

Please join the Jewish Studies Workshop for a presentation by:

Nurit Siegal (MAPSS, Political Science, University of Chicago)

“The Origins of Modern Antisemitism: The Rise of the Nation-State and the Suppression of Jews’ Ethnic Identity”

With a response by:

Tahel Goldsmith (PhD Student, History, University of Chicago)

Monday April 12, 2021 at 5:30 PM Central (via Zoom)

Nurit’s paper, to be read in advance of the session, is available for download below. The password to the document will be emailed to the Jewish Studies Workshop email listserv. If you would like to be added to this listserv, please click the “Subscribe” tab above.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here

(Meeting ID: 960 9363 1381 / Password: Siegal2021 )

Pre-circulated Paper: Siegal_Jewish Studies Workshop

Spring 2021 Schedule

Dear All,

Please find below the Jewish Studies Workshop’s spring schedule, which we are very excited about.

Meetings will occur virtually (hopefully for the last time!) from 5:30 – 7:00 pm CST on Mondays. Generally, the workshop meets every other Monday, but **please note that the two first meetings are scheduled for consecutive weeks.**

Advanced copies of papers and Zoom links will be pre-circulated via the Jewish Studies Workshop listserv and made available on our website here. If you would like to be added to our listserv, you can do so here, or email us at telem@uchicago.edu or barenstein@uchicago.edu.

Best,
Ido and Benjamin

Jewish Studies Workshop Schedule – Spring 2021 

April 12

The Origins of Modern Antisemitism: The Rise of the Nation-State and the Suppression of Jews’ Ethnic Identity

Nurit Siegal (MAPSS Student in Political Science, University of Chicago)

April 19

W(h)it(e)ness: Judaism, Race and Religion in Postwar France

Kirsten Collins (PhD Student, Divinity School, University of Chicago)

May 3

Creole Ambivalence: The Politics of Jewishness in Caribbean Suriname, 1939-1959

Eli Rosenblatt, PhD (Visiting Researcher, Northwestern University)

May 17

From Prophetic to Postcolonial Witnessing: Poetry of the First Lebanon War and Ravikovitch’s Representation of “the Other”

Stephanie Kraver (PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)

May 24

 A Bundist and a Zionist? Liebmann Hersch on Cultural Autonomy and Minority Rights

Elena Hoffenberg (PhD Student, History, University of Chicago)