CFP: 2022 Annual German Studies Conference, Israel: “Language, Culture, Society”

We invite scholars in fields related to German studies, including the humanities, social sciences, the arts, and Jewish studies to submit proposals for talks, panels, and workshops at the annual German Studies conference, which will be held on 9 June 2022. The venue is to be announced, contingent on COVID-19 conditions and regulations. Proposals for research related to contemporary or historical aspects of the German-speaking world, including from a comparative perspective, are welcome.

Deadline: 28 February 2022

CFP: Judaica: Neue digitale Folge

Judaica: Neue digitale Folge (JNDF) is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering all areas of Jewish Studies from antiquity to modernity. It is the successor to Judaica. Beiträge zum Verstehen des Judentums (ed. by ZIID – Zurich Institute for Interreligious Dialogue), which was published in 74 volumes as a print version. Like its predecessor journal, it has a strong link to Jewish Studies at Swiss universities, and an international outlook—with authors and reviewers from all over the world. The editorial office is located at the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Bern. The new Judaica publishes articles in German, French and English. Besides articles, JNDF also publishes reviews.

CFA: 2023 Leo Baeck Institute Year Book Essay Prize in German-Jewish Studies

The Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of the History and Culture of German-speaking Jewry is delighted to announce its 2023 Essay Prize. The Leo Baeck Institute Year Book is a fully refereed Oxford University Press journal and covers cultural, social, and economic history. A leading journal in the field, the Year Book has appeared annually since 1956. The Essay Prize was established in 2011 to stimulate new research on the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, and to promote young researchers in the field. The essay can be on any topic on the history and culture of German-speaking Central European Jewry from early modern times through to the present.

Deadline: March 31, 2022

Exhibition “Spain, 1000–1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith” at the Met Closters NY

Communities of Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side by side in Spain for centuries, creating vibrant artistic traditions that often intersected. For the first time since its inauguration at The Met Cloisters in 1961, the Fuentidueña Chapel gallery, which typically focuses on the Christian tradition, will present a group of works that testify to the diversity of Spanish medieval art. By telling a more nuanced story in this space, the exhibition will demonstrate the ease with which objects and artistic ideas transcended differences of belief. Placed in dialogue with each other, the silk textiles, ivory carvings, illuminated manuscripts, frescoes, and monumental sculptures featured in the show will reveal a dynamic, interconnected past that often mirrors the present.

EAJS Digital jour fixe (Digital Humanities)

The Digital Forum of the European Association of Jewish Studies offers digital lectures series focusing on projects, methods, and tools in the Digital Humanities useful to the field of Jewish Studies:

1) Avi Shmidman (Bar Ilan / Dicta), “Digital Humanities Tools for Jewish Studies Research: The Dicta Website.” Friday 28 January 2022, 10-11h30 CET

2) Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (EPHE-PSL), “eScriptorium: A Digital Infrastructure for Manual and Automatic Analysis of Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Print.” 25 February 2022, 10-11h30 CET

3) Thomas Kollatz (Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mainz), “(Very) short introduction into Digital Editing with Text Encoding Initiative.” 25 March 2022, 10-11h30 CET

Researcher of the Week

Sarah Ifft Decker, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of History
Rhodes College, TN

“My research explores the intersections between gender and religious identity in the medieval Western Mediterranean. How did gender, socio-economic status, and the experience of belonging to a minority community shape the lives of medieval Jewish women? In my first book, The Fruit of Her Hands: Jewish and Christian Women’s Work in Medieval Catalan Cities (forthcoming from Pennsylvania State University Press), I employ notarial documentation alongside legal codes and Hebrew responsa literature to identify the labor options available to Jewish and Christian women in three Catalan cities—Barcelona, Girona, and Vic—between 1250 and 1350. One of the biggest surprises when I first began research for this project was that Jewish women appear to have played a far more circumscribed role than their Christian counterparts in most economic sectors. Women of both faiths worked in credit, real estate, artisanal production, and waged domestic labor to support themselves and ensure the solvency of their households. However, Jewish women maneuvered within a much more restrictive set of marriage and inheritance practices; Christian women confronted fewer challenges in their efforts to exercise control over family assets. Despite the cultural connections between Jews and Christians in Catalan cities, the two groups still used legal culture as a way of defining difference.

Continue reading Researcher of the Week

Online Lecture by Stefanie Fuchs on the Medieval Mikveh in Friedberg (German)

Die Säule samt de Kapideele, die howwe villes zu erzehle“ – Die Friedberger Mikwe als Zeugnis mittelalterlicher Baukunst

21 February, 7:00 p.m., via WebEx

As the largest and deepest of the known Jewish ritual baths of the Middle Ages, the Friedberg mikveh still causes intense reactions among many visitors today, ranging from trepidation to enthusiasm. In the lecture, the building with its details and architectural decoration will be examined and illuminated against the background of regional architecture. What do the columns have to tell?

Lecture and Discussion: “Sus et iudaei – die antijudaistische Schmähplastik am Brandenburger Dom”(German)

25 January 2022, 6 pm, Sommerrefektorium, Burghof 8, 14776 Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany

In the Brandenburg Cathedral cloister, there is a medieval sculpture of Jews shamelessly defaming Jews on a pillar.

The relief was probably created between 1235 and 1250 and is thus probably the oldest surviving depiction of this kind, which is often also referred to as the “Jewish sow”. The circumstances of its creation are unknown. The Cathedral Chapter of Brandenburg and the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia want to process, document and publicise the knowledge about this sculpture and, on this basis, present it in an appropriate and commented context. To this end, a working group was formed and an art historian was commissioned to sift through and summarise the literature and to systematise the many questions that remain unanswered.

Participants
Dr Cord-Georg Hasselmann, Curator of the Brandenburg Cathedral Abbey

Pastor Marion Gardei, Commissioner for Remembrance Culture and Against Anti-Semitism of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz

Rabbi Prof. Dr. Andreas Nachama, Chairman of the General Rabbinical Conference Germany

Theresa Jeroch, Art Historian

Dr. Uwe Czubatynski, Head of the Cathedral Treasury of the Brandenburg Cathedral Chapter

Due to the pandemic, only a limited number of places are available. Please register in advance by 19 January by email to stefanie.krueger@dom-brandenburg.de.

Online Lecture by Stefanie Hahn and Nadine Hoffmann: “Die SchUM-Stätten Speyer, Worms und Mainz – materielle Zeugnisse der Wiege des aschkenasischen Judentums ” (German)

1 February, 7.30 pm

The SchUM cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz formed an important centre of Jewish life throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. They were closely linked in a unique way by common community statutes and had a decisive influence on the ritual buildings, culture and identity of Ashkenazi Judaism. Unique sites from this period are still preserved today in the form of synagogues, mikveh and cemeteries. They are the material testimonies of the cradle of Ashkenazi Judaism.

Online Lecture by Karin Sczech: “Mit dem jüdisch-mittelalterlichen Erbe auf dem Weg zum UNESCO-Titel” (German)

26 January, 6.30 pm

In the last 20 years or so, there has been a wealth of new discoveries and scientific research on medieval Jewish Erfurt: The synagogue has been uncovered and examined, the mikveh excavated, a Jewish dwelling house from the 13th century documented, the great treasure found, which after its restoration went on a world tour. All these discoveries meant that intensive work was also done on the written tradition, so that in the meantime interdisciplinary studies are available which prove the unique position of the objects worldwide and thus justify the application to become a UNESCO site. The decision will be made this summer.

Karin Sczech worked for more than 20 years at the Thuringian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archaeology as an area specialist for the city and coordinated the work on Jewish heritage carried out there. Under her leadership, the mikveh was excavated and she was involved in the concept of the permanent exhibition in the Old Synagogue. Since 2020, she has been employed by the city of Erfurt to coordinate the UNESCO application together with Maria Stürzebecher.

New Vol. of Jewish Quarterly Review Out

The new vol. 111.4 (2021) of The Jewish Quarterly Review features, among others, three articles relevant to medieval Jewish Studies:

Ron L. Asri’s Dealing with Informers: Yitzhak Aboab’s Aggadic Anthology, Menorat ha-ma’or

Irven M. Resnick’s Jews and Abuse of the Cross in the Middle Ages

Michal Ohana’s Jewish thought in Fez in the Generations following the Spanish Expulsion: Characteristics, Style and Content

Special Issue of ‘Jewish Culture and History’

A special issue of Jewish Culture and History, focusing on ‘New Approaches to Medieval Anglo-Jewry’, is in the process of being published. Edited by Drs Toni Griffiths and Dean A. Irwin, these are a selection of papers which were presented at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in 2019. So far, articles by Pinchas Roth, Anthony Bale and Joanne Rosenthal, Dean A. Irwin, and a review article by Ahuva Liberles have appeared online and three more pieces (by Toni Griffiths, Esther Robinson Wild and an roundtable on Simon de Montfort) will be published shortly.