New book: Jonathan Adams, “Jews in East Norse Literature: A Study of Othering in Medieval Denmark and Sweden” (Open Access)

What did Danes and Swedes in the Middle Ages imagine and write about Jews and Judaism? This book draws on over 100 medieval Danish and Swedish manuscripts and incunabula as well as runic inscriptions and religious art (c. 1200–1515) to answer this question. There were no resident Jews in Scandinavia before the modern period, yet as this book shows ideas and fantasies about them appear to have been widespread and an integral part of life and culture in the medieval North. Volume 1 investigates the possibility of encounters between Scandinavians and Jews, the terminology used to write about Jews, Judaism, and Hebrew, and how Christian writers imagined the Jewish body. The (mis)use of Jews in different texts, especially miracle tales, exempla, sermons, and Passion treaties, is examined to show how writers employed the figure of the Jew to address doubts concerning doctrine and heresy, fears of violence and mass death, and questions of emotions and sexuality. Volume 2 contains diplomatic editions of 54 texts in Old Danish and Swedish together with translations into English that make these sources available to an international audience for the first time and demonstrate how the image of the Jew was created in medieval Scandinavia.

The Shalom Spiegel Institute Summer Seminar in Medieval Hebrew Poetry

The 2023 session of the Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, will be dedicated to the work of Shem Tov b. Joseph ibn Falaquera (ca. 1225-1295) and to the memory of Michael Rand z”l (1972-2022). It will be held at the Seminary from June 11-16, 2023. The week will include daily seminars with leading scholars on various aspects of ibn Falaquera’s work (Hebrew poetry and philosophical writings) as well as instruction in developing skills in the close reading of medieval Hebrew texts. The seminar will meet for morning and afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday, concluding with one session and lunch on Friday.

Deadline: 15 January 2023.

BIAJS Annual Conference, 10-12 July 2023

Since the explosion of Black Lives Matter in 2020, societies around the world are paying greater attention to the questions of race and racism, including their role in human history. Over the last decade, a growing number of scholars of the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds have argued that race has held a central place in politics, social relations, and culture. These scholars have challenged the received wisdom that ‘race’ simply popped up as an idea in late modern Europe. Significantly, Jews and Judaism have featured as important parts of this story.

The 2023 British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies (BIAJS2023) conference will build on this work. The event will explore how race has affected, and been a part of, Jewish lives and beliefs across Jewish time and space, around the globe. In addition, BIAJS2023 welcomes papers on all aspects of Jewish Studies, and will provide the opportunity for participants to network with peers in Jewish Studies from Ireland, the UK, continental Europe, and the wider world.

Deadline: 15 December 2022.

MSJN! is going to Leeds!

The theme of the Leeds International Medieval Congress (July 2023) will be Entanglements. Board members, Andreas Lehnertz, Teddy Schacter, Birgit Wiedl, and Dean Irwin, thought that this was the perfect strand for a series of panels of the Jews. Organised around the concept of ‘Jewish/Non-Jewish Entanglements and Networks’, there will be three panels and a round table on Monday 3 July. Sponsored by MedievalJewishStudiesNow! these panels will cover a broad geographical and chronological span. The full details will be published in the programme in early 2023!

Talk: Die christliche Appropriation von Iberischen Synagogen. Eine Geschichte von Ver- und Entflechtung am Beispiel des mittelalterlichen Segovias by Franziska Kleybolte, Universität Münster

14 December 2022 6 pm, Universität Münster, Historisches Seminar, Raum: K 226 and online (zoom).

The appropriation of sacred sites is a well-known phenomenon, although little studied for synagogues in particular. The example of the Sinagoga Mayor in Segovia, which was built at the beginning of the at the beginning of the 15th century and in connection with newly enacted segregation laws. The lecture examines the Christian instrumentalisation of synagogues in Castile and Aragon in the late Middle Ages, using the example of the Sinagoga Mayor in Segovia, which was transformed into the Iglesia Corpus Christi at the beginning of the 15th century and in connection with newly enacted separation laws.

For registration please send an e-mail to:

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d), Heidelberg

The successful applicant will become part of the joint research project “Beyond Conflict and Coexistence: Towards an Entangled History of Jewish-Arab Relations” that links the universities of Heidelberg, Munich, and Halle (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF). The research project brings together a variety of postdoctoral fellows who explore Jewish-Arab transculturation from the Middle Ages until today, with a focus on cultural, intellectual and political entanglements.

Deadline: 15 December 2022.