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Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List – July 12, 2009

Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)judnea(dot)umass(dot)edu>

Week of Sunday, July 12, 2009 (20 Tamuz 5769)


For archived issues please visit:



1. Addition to Table of Contents: _Jewish Quarterly Review_ 99:2 Spring 2009 (Penn Press Journals)

2. New Book Series: Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies (Lehmann)

3. Table of Contents: _Jewish Law Association Studies_ xix: "Jewish Commercial Law" (Jackson)

4. New Publication: Arabs and Normans in Sicily and the South of Italy (Eskenazi)

5. New Journal: Iberia Judaica (asociacion hispana de estudios hebraicos)

6. Conference Notification: "Diaspora, Migration and Jewish Memories of China", Melbourne, July 2009 (Reuveni)

7. Visiting Faculty Position: Crossroads of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (Howard)

8. Winnner of Salo Baron Prize for Best First Book in Jewish Studies (Allen)

9. Recent Events at CUNY Graduate Center: Egyptian Jewish Memoir & Jews in Iran (Gerber)

10. Call for Papers: Jewish Latin American Identity and Cultural Production (Balbuena)

11. Call for Papers: "Inquisitions", Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Mendelsohn)

12. Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies: Jewish Languages (Kunoff)


1. Addition to Table of Contents: _Jewish Quarterly Review_ 99:2 Spring 2009 (Penn Press Journals)

From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor(at)huc(dot)edu>

Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2009 20:53:25 -0700

[Note from Editor/Moderator Aviva Ben-Ur: In the last issue, the table of contents for the current issue of _JQR_ did not list the following relevant article:]

Also, the JQR issue that you included here includes an article by me called "Do American Jews Speak a Jewish Langauge? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness." It's about American Jews, and it includes a section on the language of Sephardi Jews.

Sarah Bunin Benor


2. New Book Series: Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies (Lehmann)

From:             Matthias Lehmann <mlehmann(at)indiana(dot)edu>

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 16:48:42 -0500

I would like to alert you to the creation of a new book series by Indiana University Press, the INDIANA SERIES IN SEPHARDI AND MIZRAHI STUDIES, which will be edited by Harvey E. Goldberg (Hebrew University) and Matthias B. Lehmann (Indiana University). We expect that the first volumes in this new series will be published in late 2009 or early 2010.

Please feel free to contact Matthias Lehmann (at mlehmann(at)indiana(dot)edu) if you have any questions or proposals for this series.

Matthias Lehmann

Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies

Indiana University, Bloomington

*Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies*

*Harvey E. Goldberg and Matthias Lehmann, editors*

The study of Sephardi and Middle Eastern Jewries has emerged as a growing and cutting-edge field within Jewish Studies.  As scholars of modern Judaism have focused on new topics such as the Spanish-Portuguese Jews of the port cities in the Atlantic world or non-European Jews in the world of Islam, they have begun to reshape our understanding of the modern Jewish experience.  Older models of Jewish historiography have given way to a new, postmodern vision of Jewish history with a multicultural narrative. Jewish cultures, often referred to in the plural, are now appreciated in their diversity and as closely intertwined with the host cultures among which Jews have lived. Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies, as an interdisciplinary endeavor, have played an important role in this repositioning of Jewish Studies.

The aim of the Indiana Series in Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies will be to encourage the growing place of Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies within the field of Jewish Studies.  It will seek to include work from a variety of disciplines including history, religious studies, anthropology, folklore, literary studies, and the arts. For the purpose of the series, the Sephardi-Mizrahi field will be broadly defined to include medieval Iberian Jewry and the post-1492 Sephardi Diaspora, as well as the Jews of the Islamic Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. Besides contributing to Jewish Studies, the books in the series will be selected to make valuable contributions to their disciplines and to other area studies.  The series will include monographs as well as broadly conceived syntheses and translations of source materials suited for the classroom.


3. Table of Contents: _Jewish Law Association Studies_ xix: "Jewish Commercial Law" (Jackson)

From: "Bernard Jackson" <bsj(at)legaltheory(dot)demon(dot)co(dot)uk>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <mendelsohna(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 15:15:27 -0400

Jewish Law Association Studies XIX

Jewish Commercial Law. Essays in Memory of George Webber

Edited by Jonathan Cohen


1: Jonathan COHEN, Introduction

2: Itshak BRAND, "Business in Intangibles - From Philosophy to Law" (translated from Shenaton ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri XXI (2000), 71-122).

3: Ben-Zion ELIASH, "Non-Monetary Loans -Tradition and Innovation in the Geonic Period" (translated from Din=E9 Israel 18 (1995-96),


4: Ron KLEINMAN, "The Power of Monetary Customs to Override the Law: On the Innovative Approach of Rabbi Isaac and Alfasi his Influence on

Medieval Spanish Rabbis"

5: Yehoshua LIEBERMANN, "Market Failure and Judicial: Failure A Jewish Law Perspective" (translated from Din=E9 Israel 18 (1995-96), 145-173).

6: Berachyahu LIFSHITZ, "Collecting from the Guarantor where Collecting from the Debtor is Impossible" (translated from Shenaton Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri XVI-XVII (1991), 243-288

7: Joseph RIVLIN, "On Economics and Halakhah - The Mortgage and the Resale" (translated from Din=E9 Israel 20-21 (2001), 353-395)

8: Elimelech WESTREICH, "Elements of Negotiability in Talmudic and Gaonic Times"

ISBN 978-1-906731-02-1 (hardback),

978-1-906731-03-8 (paperback), 2009, Pp. viii +


For ordering information in the USA, write to Larry Rabinovich=20

(ljrab(at)sfl-legal(dot)com); elsewhere, Bernard Jackson=20



4. New Publication: Arabs and Normans in Sicily and the South of Italy (Eskenazi)

From: brian eskenazi/riverside book company <eskenazi(at)riversidebook(dot)com>

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 07:56:29 -0500


We are very pleased to announce:

_Arabs and Normans in Sicily and the South of Italy_

by Adele Cilento and Alessandro Vanoli

hardcover, 309 pages, 10-1/2 x 12-1/2"

271 illustrations in color, 4 in b&w, 4 maps

isbn 10: 1-878351-66-4

isbn 13: 978-1-878351-66-1


published: April 2008

Pictures of the jacket front and back, along with

flap copy and authors' bios, are below.

best wishes,

Brian Eskenazi

Riverside Book Company, Inc.

New York

Sicily has been at the crossroads of the Mediterranean for thousands of years. As close to

Africa as it is to many parts of Europe, and directly astride major sea routes, it has been a

convenient landfall for both merchants and warriors. Its invasion in the year 827 A.D. by

Muslim armies from North Africa set the stage for a fascinating interplay of cultures. As these Arab and Berber soldiers slowly conquered Sicily and extended their reach to parts of the Italian mainland, they came in contact with, and for some two hundred years ruled over, Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians loyal to the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople, Latin-speaking Christians obedient to the pope in Rome, and small but significant communities of Jews.

        As the fortunes of attackers and defenders ebbed and flowed, fortresses and castles surrendered, cities and towns changed hands repeatedly, and local populations found themselves subject to first one and then another ruler, sometimes in quick succession. Despite the often brutal violence, victors and vanquished managed an uneasy accommodation in which different languages, multiple religions, and several ethnicities could coexist.

        Adding themselves to this mix, groups of Norman mercenaries arrived in southern Italy early in the eleventh century. They quickly found employment with one or another of the local Latin-speaking Longobard princes who were in constant conflict with each other and who also had to contend with a Greek-speaking Byzantine empire that was trying to expand its territory on the Italian mainland. The descendants of Viking raiders who had settled in the French province of Normandy, and kin to those who invaded England under William the Conqueror in the year 1066, these Normans, or Norsemen, were fierce fighters and soon began to accumulate power and influence in the Italian south. Muslims remained in control of Sicily, but the Normans saw their prospects improve with the arrival of Robert de Hauteville, a military leader of great energy and ability known to history as Robert Guiscard, or Robert "the shrewd one." With his younger brother Roger, later known as the Great Count, he eventually conquered Sicily and large parts of southern Italy.

        Roger's descendants Roger II, William I, and William II ruled in Sicily as kings until the late twelfth century. Very sympathetic to Muslim culture, in their dress and in their tastes they were more like Oriental potentates than European monarchs. Served by a civil bureaucracy largely staffed by Muslims that drafted documents in Latin, Greek, and Arabic, these Normans presided over a monumental building program that produced some of the most breathtakingly beautiful mosaics and building interiors in the world. Incorporating both Christian and Muslim motifs, these emphasized their divine right to rule as well as the luxury and magnificence of their court, in a style and manner meant to echo imperial Byzantium and the splendor of the East.

        This book is written by two expert scholars. It tells a fascinating story about a period during the Middle Ages when cultures collided and made war on each other over issues

of politics, religion, and wealth (much like the present day). With many views of the famous mosaics in Cefalù, Monreale, and Palermo, its 275 color illustrations and four maps provide a beautiful visual complement to an authoritative text.

Adele Cilento is Professor of Byzantine History at l'Università degli Studi in Florence. She received a doctorate in Medieval History from l'Università degli Studi in Turin, where she began her work on the period of Byzantine rule in southern Italy from the ninth to eleventh centuries, with particular attention to the history of monasticism. Along with her university teaching, she is active as a freelance journalist with magazines and specialized periodicals such as Medioevo. Among her publications are: Potere e monachesimo - Ceti dirigenti e mondo monastico nella Calabria bizantina, Florence, 2000; and Bisanzio in Sicilia e nel sud dell'Italia, Udine, 2006.

Alessandro Vanoli teaches Comparative Politics of the Mediterranean at l'Università degli Studi in Bologna. He received a doctorate in European Social History from l'Università degli Studi in Venice, concentrating on the study of Islam and its interactions with Jewish and Christian culture from the Middle Ages up to the modern period. Prof. Vanoli has worked with the Rizzoli publishing house on various projects relating to Judaism and Islam. Among his publications are: I cammini dell'Occidente - Il Mediterraneo tra i secoli IX e X, Padua, 2001; Alle Origini della Reconquista, Turin, 2003; and La Spagna delle tre culture - Tra storia e mito, Rome, 2006.


5. New Journal: Iberia Judaica (asociacion hispana de estudios hebraicos)

From: asociacion hispana de estudios hebraicos

via: Peter Stern <pstern(at)library(dot)umass(dot)edu>

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 13:59:58 -0500

Anunciamos la aparición de una nueva revista, un anuario, IBERIA JUDAICA, a cargo de la /Asociación// Hispana// de Estudios Hebraicos/, centrada en el Judaísmo hispano (desde los orígenes hasta la expulsión de los judíos de Hispania).

La revista se propone fomentar la investigación científica del judaísmo hispano y pertrechar al estudioso de elementos imprescindibles para sus


Con estos objetivos, el anuario dispone de tres secciones: una sección monográfica (el primer número está dedicado a los judíos de al-Andalus), una sección de textos (inéditos o en el original o en traducción) y otra sección de bibliografía (con reseñas y recensiones y un boletín bibliográfico de la producción internacional en el campo del judaísmo hispano). Para este ultimo fin el Anuario cuenta ya con corresponsales en algunas de las diferentes naciones. Pensamos también en la conveniencia de abrir para algunas cuestiones un foro de debate.

La revista tiene carácter internacional y acoge sus publicaciones en Español, Portugués, Catalán, Inglés, Francés, Italiano, Alemán y Latín. Dentro de la sección de textos, sí se admiten las escrituras originales (hebreo, arameo, árabe…).

Entendemos que nuestra revista trae un aire fresco a la investigación del judaísmo hispano y que será un elemento dinamizador de la investigación de los estudios judaicos a nivel internacional.

Los interesados en la adquisición del primer número de /Iberia Judaica/ (2009), de cuyo contenido se da información en los archivos adjuntos, deben dirigirse a


o Asociación Hispana de Estudios Hebraicos

c/ Iris 108

28109 ALCOBENDAS (Madrid)

El precio del Anuario es de 50 Euros dentro de España y Portugal, 62 Euros para la Unión Europea (69 libras esterlinas para GB), 105 $ USD para países fuera de Europa.

We announce the appearance of a new journal, IBERIA JUDAICA (=IJ), edited by

the *Asociación Hispana de Estudios Hebraicos,* focused in the scientific research of the /Iberian Judaism/ (from the origins to the expulsion).

The journal, a yearbook, intends to promote the research of the Iberian Judaism and to supply the researchers with the means for a better study and research.

With this purpose, the journal has three sections: a monographic section (the first number of IJ is dedicated to the Jews in al-Andalus), a section for texts (unedited, in original or in translation) and a bibliographical section (with reviews and a bibliographical bulletin on scientific publications in the field of the Hispanic Judaism). Toward this end we have

correspondents in the different nations. We think to open also a forum of debate for some special questions.

The journal has an international character and admits the collaborations in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, French, Italian, German and Latin. In the sections of texts, also in Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic.

We think that the new journal will introduce a fresh air in the research of the Hispanic Judaism and it will be a dynamic element in the research of the Judaic Studies at an international level.

All interested in the acquisition of the first number of Iberia Judaica, of whose content we inform in the attached archivs, shall address to


(please, pay attention to the address, with *aheh(dot)e(dot)*telefonica(dot)net)

or Asociación Hispana de Estudios Hebraicos

c/ Iris 108

28109 ALCOBENDAS (Madrid)

The price of the Yearbook (about 400 pages) is 50 Euros in Spain and Portugal, 62 Euros for other countries of the European Union (69 pounds for GB), 105 $ USD for other countries.


6. Conference Notification: "Diaspora, Migration and Jewish Memories of China", Melbourne, July 2009 (Reuveni)

From: "Gideon Reuveni" <g(dot)reuveni(at)unimelb(dot)edu(dot)au>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <mendelsohna(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 21:34:00 -0400

Diaspora, Migration and Jewish Memories of China

Notification and call for papers

26 & 27 July, 2009

Jewish Museum of Australia (26th)

School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne (27th).

Keynote Speakers:

JIANG Jin - Department of History, East China Normal


Suzanne Rutland - Department of Hebrew, Biblical and

Jewish Studies University of Sydney.

This symposium is funded by the ARC Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network, under the research theme "Crossing Cultural Boundaries in the Asia-Pacific."

The symposium comprises a public lecture, academic symposium and community forum.  It engages with Jewish Diaspora histories in China and Australia, aiming through a focus on the twentieth-century Jewish experience of China to explore the place of the half-way port in identity formation in migrant communities. Autobiographical writings and a number of documentaries made over the last two decades testify to the significance of the in-between place, the half-way port, in the memories of post-war Jewish migrants from China to North America and Australia. Suggestions for papers or panels related to the theme of the symposium are welcome.

CALL FOR PAPERS (closed 30 June 2009)

The symposium follows on from a workshop on Jewish and Chinese Diaspora histories, held at the School of Historical Studies last year (Sept 08). Many Chinese-background individuals and communities in Australia share the experience  of the “half-way port”: grandparents born in China, parents born in Vietnam, selves born in born in Australia would be one possible trajectory; a mainland family waiting in Hong Kong for permanent settlement elsewhere would be another.

The conveners of the symposium are interested in maintaining the comparative perspective employed at last year’s symposium and welcome suggestions for

papers related to Chinese or Russian migration from or through Shanghai, Tianjin or Harbin, the major sites of Jewish residence in China up till the 1950s.

Gideon Reuveni

[ed: very slight edit]


7. Visiting Faculty Position: Crossroads of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (Howard)

From: Rachel Howard <RHoward(at)academic-travel(dot)com>

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 14:46:28 -0400           

[ed: very slight edit]

I am writing to you at the suggestion of Professor Stacy Beckwith of Carleton College.  Stacy serves on the Academic Advisory Board for our study abroad program in Spain, which is called Crossroads of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  This program will launch this fall, and we are currently seeking a professor to teach our capstone course.  I have attached a job description and included a brief writeup (below my signature). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Rachel Howard

Czech Republic and Spain Programs Manager

CET Academic Programs ~ Innovators in Study Abroad Since 1982

1920 N Street, NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: +1-800-225-4262, ext. 7343

Fax: +1-202-342-0317

E-mail: RHoward(at)academic-travel(dot)com


CET Academic Programs seeks a visiting faculty member for its Crossroads of Islam, Judaism and Christianity study abroad program for fall semester 2009.  This new program is based at the Ávila campus of the University of Salamanca. The curriculum is focused on the medieval history of the three cultures in Spain. Students enroll in a capstone course plus a Spanish language course and electives. More information about the program can be found on CET’s website:<>.

The visiting faculty member will design and teach the capstone course, Crossroads of the Three Cultures, which will provide students with a solid foundation of Spain’s medieval history as well as explore the controversy of the label of convivencia.  For a complete position description, including application instructions, please visit<>.


8. Winnner of Salo Baron Prize for Best First Book in Jewish Studies (Allen)

From: "Sheila Allen" <allenshe(at)>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <mendelsohna(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 10:48:20 -0500

Award of the Salo Baron Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies

Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 10:40 AM

The American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest organization of Judaica scholars in North America, has awarded its annual Salo Baron Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies (published in 2007) to Jonathan P. Decter, associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.  Professor Decter's book, _Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe_, was published by Indiana University Press.

In Iberian Jewish Literature, Decter explores Hebrew prose and poetry in both its Islamic-Arabic context and its Christian-Romance context.  His work draws on scholarship in Romance languages and literatures, medieval Hebrew literature, and Arabic studies and is in dialogue with contemporary literary theory and cultural studies.  In speaking of the book at the award ceremony in Washington, DC, in December, Professor Robert Chazan, a former president of the AAJR, praised the book for its willingness to encompass Hebrew literature from both the Muslim and Christian periods and for its methodological sophistication.

Decter's book grows out of his doctoral dissertation, which he wrote at the Jewish Theological Seminary under the supervision of Professor Raymond Scheindlin.

The Baron Prize honors the memory of the distinguished historian Salo W. Baron, a long-time president of the AAJR , who taught at Columbia University for many decades.  It is, according to Professor Todd Endelman, the current president of the AAJR, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a young scholar in Jewish studies in North America.  Previous recipients have gone on to stellar careers at major research universities and liberal arts colleges.


9. Recent Events at CUNY Graduate Center: Egyptian Jewish Memoir & Jews in Iran (Gerber)

From: American Sephardi Federation with Sephardic House <info(at)americansephardifederation(dot)org>

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 10:08:38 -0500

The Center for Jewish Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center - February 24 and March 4

February 24

4:30pm, 9207

Jewish Studies Colloquy

Jean Naggar

"Sipping from the Nile"

A beautifully written memoir of an idyllic childhood in Egypt, growing up in a large, well established Jewish family, and of the expulsion from Egypt that ended not only her family life there but the life of a vibrant Jewish community.

*Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women and Society

March 4

4:30pm, C198

Jewish Studies Colloquy

Daniel Tsadik

Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University

"Jewish-Shi'ite Polemics in Iran: A Case Study"

 *Co-sponsored by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center

(MEMEAC) and

the American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House (ASF/SH)


10. Call for Papers: Jewish Latin American Identity and Cultural Production (Balbuena)

From:            "Monique R. Balbuena" <balbuena(at)uoregon(dot)edu>

Date:             Tue, 07 Jul 2009 09:25:32 -0700           

CALL FOR PAPERS: Jewish Latin American Identity and Cultural Production
Monique R. Balbuena & Adriana Brodsky (eds.)

_Journal of Jewish Identities_ vol. 4, issue 2 (July 2011)
Submission deadline: July 1, 2010
The coupling of the terms “Jew” and “Latino,” or “Jewish” and “Latin American” still elicits surprise, especially among those who grew accustomed to identifying “Jewish” with “Eastern European,” and those who imagine Latin America as a homogeneous Catholic region.In the United States this tends to be the trend, in a move that simultaneously downplays the experience of non-Ashkenazi Jews in the country, and the heterogeneous Jewish presence in the Americas. But a growing corpus of Jewish and Latin American worksincreasingly demands that we acknowledge and confront both the Jewish contribution to the make-up of the Latin American cultural fabric, and the relevance of Latin American realities in shaping a distinctive Jewish identity.

This special issue of the Journal of Jewish Identities will focus on representations of Jewishness and Jewish identity in Latin America, observing socio-cultural practices and cultural production among Latin American Jewish communities, and in the larger co-territorial context as well.

We especially welcome comparative and interdisciplinary essays. Also encouraged are essays that address intra-Jewish difference, multilingualism and use of Jewish languages, Jewish and national identities, use of adopted genres, transnational experiences, and representations of the Holocaust. We invite submissions from any discipline within the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Papers should be sent electronically to guest editor Monique R. Balbuena at balbuena(at)jewishidentities(dot)org as Word e-mail attachments, indicating “Journal of Jewish Identities: Call for Papers” in the subject line. Manuscripts should be prepared using the Chicago Manual of Style. The preferred length for article manuscripts is 7,000 – 10,000 words. Manuscripts will be reviewed following the Journal’s standard process. Please include an abstract of no more than 150 words and a biographical note. All articles are anonymously reviewed. Submissions must be in American English and are considered for publication on the understanding that the author(s) offer the Journal of Jewish Identities the exclusive option to publish, and that the paper is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. It is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission for using any previously published material. Accepted manuscripts become the permanent property of the journal. Authors may, of course, use the article elsewhere after publication without prior permission from the Journal of Jewish Identities, provided that acknowledgement is given to the Journal as original source of publication, and that the Journal is notified so that our records show that its use is properly authorized.  

Individuals interested in writing book reviews (750-1,000 words) of individual works of recent scholarship on the subject or longer review essays (3,000 words) on multiple works should contact the book review editor (dmagilow(at)utk(dot)edu) to propose specific titles. The editorial board of the Journal of Jewish Identities in turn evaluates these proposals for appropriateness.  

The Journal of Jewish Identities is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed forum for contesting ideas and debates concerning the formations of, and transformations in, Jewish identities in its various aspects, layers, and manifestations. The aim of this journal is to encourage the development of theory and practice in a wider spread of disciplinary approaches; to promote conceptual innovation and to provide a venue for the entry of new perspectives. Submissions are invited from all fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences and from the full range of methodologies. Diverse theoretical and philosophical approaches and methodologies, interdisciplinary research studies, as well as instructive case studies are particularly welcome. The Journal publishes empirical and theoretical articles, documents, an occasional debate section, as well as review essays and book reviews. The Journal of Jewish Identities is published twice a year.

Monique Rodrigues Balbuena

Assistant Professor of Literature

Clark Honors College

1293 University of Oregon

Eugene OR 97403

Voice: 541 346-2311

Fax: 541 346-0125


11. Call for Papers: "Inquisitions", Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Mendelsohn)

From: Adam Mendelsohn <mendelsohna(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:18:23 -0400

      On the occasion of the publication of the Historical Dictionary of the Inquisition (Edizioni della Normale), the next issue of the Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe di Lettere e Filosofia, in a fully renovated format and under the new direction of Adriano Prosperi, will devote its monographic section to the history of institutions that monitored and controlled religious orthodoxy, as well as to the subjects those institutions dealt with, from the Middle Ages up to present. Articles on the history of Catholic courts both in Europe and around the World, on theological and legal reflections about the activity of inquisitors, on censorship, on literary and iconographic representations linked with the changing image of the Inquisition are invited, as well as comparative reviews of recent literature or historiographical debates.

      The articles must be sent no later than 31 July 2009 to the following address: segreteria.annali(at) (contact with any question). The guidelines and the editing rules can be found on the web page of the Annali. The answer about the acceptance of submitted articles for publication will be given within a month, according to the evaluation of internationally renowned referees.

Visit the website at


12. Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies: Jewish Languages (Kunoff)

From: "Kunoff, Kimberly" <kunoff(at)>

via: Adam Mendelsohn <mendelsohna(at)COFC(dot)EDU>

Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 11:20:22 -0400

University of Michigan

Postdoctoral Fellowship 2010-2011

Application Deadline: Nov. 10, 2009

Jewish Languages

Practices of reading and writing in several languages, inhabiting interlinguistic communities, and translating into and out of various idioms and vernaculars have characterized Jews across centuries, infusing Jewish cultures with multilingualism in every historical period. Jewish Languages interrogates this history and reputation in order to reconsider myths, fantasies, and anxieties of linguistic multiplicity in Jewish history, culture, and politics. This theme invites interdisciplinary approaches that unsettle longstanding ideas of "Jewish" languages by examining cultural and material conditions of belonging and displacement under which Jews have lived and created with particular regard for theories of language structure and oral performance and relationships among vernacular, spoken and elite literary tongues.

Questions regarding language, as affect and effect, are as old as Israelite and Jewish civilization itself. Jewish Languages asks what are the social and historical forces that underlie the politics of language choice among Jews? What, in fact, does it mean to call the use of a language a "choice?" The languages of the Ancient Near East, of Judaism in the Greco-Roman world, and of translations of the Bible first announced by the Septuagint open new discussions between translation studies and critical Jewish texts. How do perspectives on Talmudic discourse shift when it is read as emerging from multilingual milieus whose hermeneutics are also translational practices? In this framework, Jewish polyglotism encompasses not only distinct languages used for divergent purposes and locations, but also the emergence of hybrid idioms in oral and written cultures devised for diverse speech situations. Medieval Jewish language practices, especially the art of writing under persecution, address performative and political dimensions of mystical and heterodox speech. Mixed languages of Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in modern periods-not only Yiddish and Ladino, but also Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Italian, Judeo-Persian and many others-draw upon dissonance between "the Holy Tongue" and "la'az," the many languages of the "strange peoples" among whom Jews have dwelt, to spark liturgical, cultural, and historical conflicts and innovations.

Since language clashes are frequently interpreted as symbolic struggles over power, belief, and social change, scholars in fields as diverse as sociolinguistics, literary and film criticism, biblical archeology, anthropology, performance studies, and history have considered how changing speech forms index social and ideological conflicts. Renderings of Jewish experience have drawn upon verbal strangeness and recombinant vernaculars to articulate speech situations as various and contradictory as alienation and assimilation, patriarchy and feminist critique, popular consumerism and revolutionary utopias. Moreover, recently language studies have expanded to include work on performance, globalization, new media and digital cultures, migration, and national language politics.

The theme of Jewish Languages will bring scholars from diverse disciplines to consider overlapping questions and controversies: What, in the 21st century, is a Jewish language? What isn't? Do such distinctions signify substantive boundaries? What forms of complex affinities and dissonances exist among mixed Jewish languages of diverse times and locations? What are the implications of linguistic conservation, revival, and extinction for global Jewry? What are the politics and aesthetics of translation and typography in Jewish cultures? What is the sociology of knowledge of bilingual books and bridge languages?

Under the rubric of Jewish language practices, the Frankel Institute invites scholars and artists to consider how the questions and implications of Jewish tongues motivate collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to narrative and literary form, biblical and Talmudic studies, gender and sexuality studies, historical and political studies, performance and orality, and visual culture.

Visit our website for more information: or email judaicstudies(at)umich(dot)edu.


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