Congratulation and Mazal Tov to Professor Ethan Kleinberg whose book , Emmanuel Levinas’s Talmudic Turn: Philosophy and Jewish Thought will be published this October in the Cultural Memory in the Present Series from Stanford University Press.
In this rich intellectual history of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s Talmudic lectures in Paris, Ethan Kleinberg addresses Levinas’s Jewish life and its relation to his philosophical writings while making an argument for the role and importance of Levinas’s Talmudic lessons.
Pairing each chapter with a related Talmudic lecture, Kleinberg uses the distinction Levinas presents between “God on Our Side” and “God on God’s Side” to provide two discrete and at times conflicting approaches to Levinas’s Talmudic readings. One is historically situated and argued from “our side” while the other uses Levinas’s Talmudic readings themselves to approach the issues as timeless and derived from “God on God’s own side.” Bringing the two approaches together, Kleinberg asks whether the ethical message and moral urgency of Levinas’s Talmudic lectures can be extended beyond the texts and beliefs of a chosen people, religion, or even the seemingly primary unit of the self.
Touching on Western philosophy, French Enlightenment universalism, and the Lithuanian Talmudic tradition, Kleinberg provides readers with a groundbreaking investigation into the origins, influences, and causes of Levinas’s turn to and use of Talmud.
Dalit Katz, the Chair of the Film Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies, published an article entitled “From Cairo to the Cloud to Tel Aviv on Fire: News from the AJS Film Committee, Fall 2019” at the AJS News: The Conference Issue . The article details the film committee’swork: organizing a film festival at the AJS conference, arranging for speakers and Q/A sessions with film directors, and initiating and chairing an annual pedagogical session on “Teaching with Films,” with a different theme each year. The annual AJS conference is scheduled for December 16-18, 2019, and will take place at Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The Association for Jewish Studies is the largest learned society and professional organization whose mission is “to advance research and teaching in Jewish Studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning, and to foster greater understanding of Jewish Studies scholarship among the wider public”.
For more information about the article, please check the following link:
Ethan Kleinberg, Professor of History and Professor of Letters, received the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professorship, established in 2008.
Ethan Kleinberg joined the Department of History and the College of Letters in 2001 after completing his B.A. at University of California, Berkeley, a Fulbright scholarship in France, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include European intellectual history, critical theory, educational structures, and the philosophy of history. Kleinberg has published three books, most recently Haunting History: For a Deconstructive Approach to the Past (Stanford University Press, 2017). In 2018, he was Professeur Invité at Université Bordeaux Montaigne, and in Summer 2020 he will be the Reinhart Koselleck Guest Professor at Bielefeld University’s Zentrum für Theorien in der historischen Forschung.
The Center for Jewish Studies continues to offer new and innovative courses. Last spring, Yaniv Feller, Assistant Professor of Religion and the Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, taught a new student-centered course in which students produced radio discussions podcasts about Religion in the Diaspora. Check out the post below, written by Noa Street-Sachs
Dalit Katz, Director of the Center for Jewish Studies and Director of the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival, will present the movie Shelter on Sunday, November 4 at the Palace Danbury Theatre at 430.
As the director of the Center for Jewish Studies, it is my pleasure to welcome Nitzan Gilady, 2018 Silverberg Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Nitzan’s beautiful film Wedding Doll, inaugurated last year’s 10th Annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli FilmFestival and was introduced by Professor Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies. Professor Gilady will teach an exciting new course CJST 248: Designing Reality in Israeli Documentary which will count towards the Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies as well as the minor in the Film Department. In addition, he will introduce the recent Israeli Film Scaffolding, the fifth film in this year’s Israeli Film Festival. Please check our website for more information about the Film Festival at http://iff.site.wesleyan.edu/. Professor Gilady will meet with students of the Center for Jewish Studies as well as students in Hebrew classes. He plans to deliver a WESeminar during graduation weekend. The cold weather has not dampened our Israeli visitor’s enthusiasm towards Wesleyan and he looks forwards to meeting our students. Baruch Haba (welcome)!
Jessie Cohen, Archaeological Collections Manager at Wesleyan University, hosted a visit by Professor Greenblatt’s History 247, Jewish History: From Biblical Israel to Diaspora Jews class. Students examined ancient Near Eastern coins related to places and times they have studied in class. The coins include, for example, one of Antiochus IV, villain of the Hanukkah story. Here are two pictures taken by Campus’ photographer, Olivia Drake.
Magda Teter’s book, Sinners on Trial: Jews and Sacrilege after the Reformation (Harvard University Press) has received an Honorable Mention in the Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History category of the 2014 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards. The Schnitzer Book Award was established in 2007 to recognize and promote outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and to honor scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: innovative research, excellent writing, and sophisticated methodology. In recognizing Teter’s book Sinners on Trial: Jews and Sacrilege after the Reformation (Harvard University Press), the Prize Committee wrote: In this beautifully written and richly documented work, Magda Teter traces and convincingly demonstrates the interdependence of economic, religious and political motives that animated Polish anti-Semitism in the early modern period. This book also identifies and elucidates significant factors in the history of their formations in East Central Europe, and in the history of the host-desecration charge in early modern Europe. Magda Teter is Professor of History, and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies. She currently serves as the Chair of the History Department.
We have exciting news regarding the latest developments in Jewish Studies at Wesleyan. Just a couple of weeks ago the Administration approved our proposal to create a Center for Jewish Studies at Wesleyan. The Center will administer the current Certificate for Jewish and Israel Studies. It will also be the official home to and sponsor of all the programming we do, including the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival and the Contemporary Israeli Voices series as well as other lectures. We are delighted with this new chapter of Jewish Studies at Wesleyan and the fact that we have an institutional home. Dalit Katz will be the Center’s first Director, and will be coordinating the transition and keeping the public informed.
Another summer is gone and a new academic year has begun. As always, it will be an exciting year, with classes, and events to look forward to.
First some news. Professor Dalit Katz has agreed to serve as the interim director of JIS this year, while Professor Magda Teter on sabbatical working on her next book.
Dalit Katz has been a vital member of the faculty in the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate, devoting time and energy to the JIS Certificate and the University. She has single-handedly created a highly respected Israeli Film Festival, which is now a mainstay on CT cultural calendar, making Wesleyan a go-to-place for Israeli culture, attracting audiences far beyond Wesleyan, and students to Wesleyan. The Program is thus in excellent hands this year!
We are also excited to welcome to Wesleyan Professor Elisha Russ-Fishbane, who is joining us from Princeton. Professor Elisha Russ-Fishbane teaches courses in Judaism, Hebrew Bible, and Jewish Studies, focusing on questions of Jews in Islamic lands. In the Fall 2012, he will teach the gateway course for the JIS Certificate, RELI233: The People of the Book: Jewish Cultures and Jewish Canons, and and RELI227: The Jews of the Islamic World from Muhammad to Modernity. In the Spring, Professor Russ-Fishbane will teach RELI201: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, and RELI294: Judaism and the Philosophic Path: An Introduction to Maimonides.
In the Spring 2013, Professor Vivian Mann will teach a course in the Art History Department “Jewish Art and Rituals in Context”. This course covers the history of Judaica. The goal of the course is to give students an understanding of the range of ceremonial art used in the practice of Judaism and how individual works were fashioned out of a creative tension between the minimal demands of Jewish law and models in the art of surrounding cultures.
The course will result in an exhibition of Judaica curated at the Congregation Adath Israel, deepening further our collaboration with Adath Israel and its outstanding collection.
Finally, a quick preview of events that we can look forward to:
October 30, Lawrence Baron, Jewish-non-Jewish Romances about Israel: From Ari to Zohan, 8 p.m Russell House
Also the week of December 3, André Aciman will speak at Wesleyan. Time, topic and venue TBA.
Our annual Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival will take place in February and March.
A series of talks and lectures on Jewish Music linked to Mark Slobin’s class, MUSC297: Yiddish Cultural Expression: Music, Theater, Literature, Film.
Steven Hochstadt from the University of Shanghai will speak on the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai, time and venue TBA. The lecture will be linked to Vera Schwarcz’s class, HIST308: The Jewish Experience in China: From Kaifeng in the Song Dynasty to Shanghai During the Holocaust.