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Tenenbaum Family Lecture Series

A Symposium in Honor of Oded Borowski

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Jews, Texts, and Ethnography: An Academic Workshop

Wednesday, March 18, 9:15am - 4:00pm
and Thursday, March 19, 9:00am - 3:45pm

Winship Ballroom, Dobbs University Center (DUC)

scrolls

The Jewish people, the People of the Book, have long been associated with the study of texts as one of the most basic practices upon which the religion and, indeed, the culture are built. Yet anthropology has only rarely considered the meaning of those texts or the ways in which texts influence individuals and communities, and Jewish Studies has historically maintained a certain distance from the field of anthropology.

This interdisciplinary workshop aims to break new ground in the field of ethnography of texts in Jewish life. Leading scholars from around the world will gather to present papers and discuss the relationship between text, lived experience, and ethnography in Jewish studies. It is expected that the workshop will result in an edited collection of theoretical and methodological reflections on the use of ethnographic techniques to examine the place of texts and textuality in Jewish life, with relevance for the study ofother cultures as well.

Hosted by
Don Seeman, Emory University
Shlomo Guzmen-Carmeli, Bar Ilan University

Participants include
James Bielo, Miami University
Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University
Marcy Brink-Danan, Hebrew University
Sam Cooper, Bar Ilan University
Simon Dein, Durham University
Ayala Fader, Fordham University
Michael Karlin, Life University
Lea Taragin-Zeller, Hebrew University
Philip Wexler, Hebrew University

See below for conference schedule. All sessions are free and open to the public (excluding invitation-only meals)

This event is cosponsored by the Candler School of Theology, the Laney Graduate School, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Graduate Division of Religion, the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, and the Departments of Comparative Literature, Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies, and Religion.


Keynote Lecture
A Rabbi on the Ganges: A Jewish Hindu Encounter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

7:30pm
Oxford Presentation Auditorium
*
311 Oxford Road Building
1390 Oxford Road; Atlanta 30307

brill

Alan Brill

Cooperman-Ross Endowed Professor
Seton Hall University

with respondent
Jonathan Boyarin
Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, Cornell University

Professor Brill recently spent a sabbatical in India teaching Judaism and encountering Hinduism from within the Brahmin world. He notes that Indian works on religion typically reference Judaism based on the ancient practices of Leviticus, with its animal sacrifice, while Judaism understands Indian religions using the categories of Talmudic understanding of idolatry. Neither side understands much about the other one and its living reality. Exploring the commonalities of ideas on priestly rituals, purity, meditation, and text study, this talk will look at how what is first seen as completely other and foreign, can, with asking the proper questions and an appropriate lens, be appreciated on its own terms and create a space for a shared spiritual language of understanding.

Reception following the lecture

This lecture is the keynote event of the conference, “Jews, Texts, and Ethnography: An Academic Workshop,” presented by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and the Hightower Fund and cosponsored by the Candler School of Theology, the Laney Graduate School, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Graduate Division of Religion, the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, and the Departments of Comparative Literature, Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies, and Religion.


Event and visitor parking is available in the Peavine parking lot after 4:00pm,
in the Fishburne deck after 6:00pm, and in the Oxford Road parking deck after 7:00pm.
Visit Emory's 
Transportation and Parking Services page for maps and more information.


Conference Schedule

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

9:15-10:15am
Opening Thoughts and Introductions: What Has Ethnography Got to Do with Jewish Texts?

Opening Text Study
Don Seeman, Emory University and Shlomo Guzmen-Carmeli, Bar-Ilan University
Winship Ballroom

10:30am-12:15pm
Session One

Undoing Jewish Ethnography
Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University
Winship Ballroom

Resacralization, Critical Social Theory and Everyday Life
Philip Wexler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2:00-4:00pm
Session Two

Tanya, Text and Thaumaturgy: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Miracles
Simon Dein, Durham University
Winship Ballroom

Kosher Meditation: Utilizing Religious Text to Innovate Ritual Practice in Chabad
Michael Karlin, Life University
Winship Ballroom

Textual Experience and Lived Experience: An Existential Model
Don Seeman, Emory University
Winship Ballroom

7:30pm
Keynote Lecture


A Rabbi on the Ganges: A Jewish Hindu Encounter

Alan Brill, Seton Hall University
Responders: Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University; Paul Courtright, Emory University
Oxford Presentation Room, Oxford Road Building

9:00pm Reception
Oxford Presentation Room
Oxford Road Building

Thursday, March 19, 2015

9:00-12:45pm
Session Three


Digital Yiddish: Hasidic Literacies Online
Ayala Fader, Fordham University

Performing Sovereignty: Learning Torah from a Haredi Kollel to a Secular Yeshiva
Shlomo Guzmen-Carmeli, Bar-Ilan University

Preaching Parenthood, Family Planning, Authority and Text interpretation in Contemporary Israel
Lea Taragin-Zeller, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

(More) Voices Around the Text(s): Communication Anxiety and the “Management” of Heteroglossia in the Global Interfaith Dialogue Encounter
Marcy Brink-Danan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2:15-3:45pm
Session Four


Ethnography of the Ethnographers
James Bielo, Miami University

Closing Remarks
Don Seeman, Emory University


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Last updated: March 17, 2015

 

 

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