CFP: Panel for Young Genizah Researchers and those Interested in the Field

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Call for Papers

Panel for Young Genizah Researchers and those Interested in the Field

Conveners: Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (EPHE Paris), Ben Outhwaite (Genizah Research Unit

Cambridge), and Ronny Vollandt (LMU Munich)

Venue: XIth Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies Kraków, Poland, July 15-19, 2018



From approximately the tenth to the nineteenth century the Jewish community of Old Cairo deposited their worn-out book and documents into the Genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue, a storeroom for retired texts. Countless leaves, to a large part written in Hebrew script and thus deemed too sacred for an ordinary disposal, were placed there, the remains of treasured books, personal and official letters, amulets, calendars, and all kinds of written text that a highly literate community might produce.


With the discovery of the so called “Cairo Genizah”, one hundred and twenty years ago, researchers from diverse disciplines and fields have gained access to an enormous and unprecedented collection of rare and original documents from the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, more than 200,000 pieces in Cambridge University Library alone, along with other collections scattered worldwide. This remarkable storehouse of primary sources has thrown a fresh new light on the medieval society of the Mediterranean world as a whole (including Islamic and Eastern Christian history) and particularly on Jewish history and culture from ancient to early modern times. Giving the scope, scale and diverse character of the material recovered from the Cairo storeroom, the Genizah continues to provide a seemingly inexhaustible source of primary research materials for scholars from a wide range of disciplines.

Even with the essential tools that have been established over the last few decades to facilitate Genizah studies, gaining access to this vast field with its very specialized material is still a challenge to young researchers and thus calls for special training. Our panel is therefore intended as a platform for advanced MA-students, PhD-candidates and Post-Docs, who are interested in the field of Genizah Studies and wish to venture further into it. Every participant will have the opportunity to present a paper on her/his topic of research. Senior scholars will present their own work and offer hands-on training, as well as provide feedback on the participants' projects.

Please send abstracts of proposed papers (up to 300 words) to, with cc to Judith Olszowy-Schlanger ( or Ronny Vollandt ( The deadline for paper and panel proposals abstracts is 15th November 2017.


For further information as to the fees and registration process, see


Every proposal must include a title, the name and affiliation of the participant, e-mail address and telephone number, as well as the note Young Genizah panel. The suggested language of papers is English.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ronny Vollandt
Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten
Veterinärstr. 1
D-80539 München

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