Since its inception in 2001, the Duke-UNC Seminar on Jewish Studies has gained a reputation as one of the more acclaimed intellectual meeting grounds in the area, bringing together faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars who discuss various aspects of Jewish history and culture. Monthly meetings discuss current work by either seminar members or internationally renowned guests, the papers distributed in advance for all to read. Scholars from throughout North Carolina attend, and the seminar has become the major venue for scholarly interaction among the Triangle’s Jewish Studies scholars. Presently coordinated with the UNC public lecture series, the seminar is a pillar of Judaic Studies at Duke and UNC, enriching the scholarly climate in the area and strengthening the various programs in the local universities by offering a stimulating and exciting forum for academic engagement in the study of Judaism.
The next meeting of the 2014-2015 Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, January 25, 2015. Elissa Bemporad is Associate Professor of History and the Jerry and William Ungar professor in Eastern European Jewish History and the Holocaust at Queens College of the City University of New York. Professor Bemporad will lead a discussion on “The Politics of Blood: Jews and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets.”
By examining the reasons for the prolonged rootedness of the blood libel in a society that unlike any other in interwar Europe repudiated – at least on paper – antisemitism, this study will reveal the depth and the permutations of this powerful anti-Jewish myth among segments of the Soviet population down to the German invasion, and will explore the secular metamorphosis it underwent in post-war Stalinist society.
The next meeting of the 2014-2015 Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, February 8, 2015. Edward Fram is Senior Lecturer in the History Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His area of interest is in the history of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe in the pre-modern age, with a focus on the history of Jewish law and how it was adapted to face new situations.
Additional details about Professor Fram’s talk will be provided soon.
The next meeting of the 2014-2015 Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, March 29, 2015. Professor Eitan Bar-Yosef from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a literary scholar and cultural historian specializing in Victorian Studies and in Postcolonialism. His research interests include postcolonial studies, the British Empire, and Israel Studies. Professor Bar-Yosef will lead a discussion on “Redrawing the Boundary Lines: The Non-Jew in the Contemporary Reform Synagogue.”
The next meeting of the 2014-2015 Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar is Sunday, April 19, 2015. Dana Kaplan is the rabbi of Congregation Shaare Shalom, the United Congregation of Israelites, in Kingston, Jamaica. He teaches Judaism at the United Theological College of the University of the West Indies. He holds a Ph.D. in American Jewish History from Tel Aviv University, where he studied with Professor Lloyd Gartner, and also has rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem.
Additional details about Professor Kaplan’s talk will be provided soon.
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