Jonathan M. Hess Moments of Enlightenment Symposium: German Jewish Interactions from the 18th Century to the Present

Joshua Shelly's picture
April 13, 2019 to April 15, 2019
North Carolina, United States
Subject Fields: 
German History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Humanities, Jewish History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies

Dear Colleagues:

The Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, together with the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is pleased to announce the Jonathan M. Hess Symposium, Moments of Enlightenment, held in honor of the life and work of professor and scholar Jonathan Hess, and scheduled to take place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from April 13-15, 2019.  

This conference will bring together major scholars in German and Jewish Studies to consider German Jewish interactions from 18th Century to the Present.  Highlights are to include a keynote from Martha Helfer entitled, "Maurice Sendak's Dear Mili: A Contrapuntal Elegy."  

All events are free and open to the public.  For a full schedule, please consult the CCJS website at

Saturday, April 13

Keynote Lecture:
Maurice Sendak’s Dear Mili: A Contrapuntal Elegy
Martha B. Helfer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Sunday, April 14

Panel 1: Encounters and Friendships
Moderator: Richard Langston, UNC Chapel Hill

Act of Faith: Reflections on Germans, Jews, and Friendship
Jonathan Skolnik, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Task of the Jewish Translator Revisited
Abigail Gillman, Boston University

Mentoring, Bildungsroman, and Enlightenment
Chunjie Zhang, University of California, Davis

Schiller and the Reconstitution of Body Politics
Gabriel Trop, UNC Chapel Hill

Round Table 1: Teaching Enlightenments and Jewish Studies
Chairs: Yaakov Ariel, UNC Chapel Hill and Stefani Engelstein, Duke University

Richard Benson, Independent Scholar
Susanne Gomoluch, UNC Charlotte
Jeffrey Hertel, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University
Tayler Kent, University of Alabama
Samuel Kessler, Gustavus Adolphus College
Annegret Oehme, University of Washington
Elizabeth Schreiber-Byers, Goethe-Institut, Washington

Panel 2: Encounters Between Yiddish and German
Moderator: Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University

Becoming a Jewish Pope: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations Between the Early Modern and Modern
Lea Greenberg, Joshua Shelly, Ruth von Bernuth, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University

A Dialectic of Enlightenment? Unexpected Aspects of Yiddish-German Translation in the Early Twentieth Century
Jeffrey Grossman, University of Virginia

Gevorn a maymin? Nathan Birnbaum—and Others—between Vienna/Prague and Galicia
Scott Spector, University of Michigan

A Poetics of Genocide: The Jewish Dead Confront the Germans in Itzhak Katzenelson’s Warsaw Ghetto Poem ‘Vey dir’
Sven-Erik Rose, University of California, Davis

Panel 3: Students of Enlightenment
Moderator: Ann Marie Rasmussen, University of Waterloo

Such Great Heights: Elevated Perspectives in Alexander von Humboldt and Karl Philipp Moritz
Rory Bradley, Colby College

Bildung and Poesie: Berthold Auerbach’s Theory of Literature
Erik Grell, Furman University

Jewish Theater and the Enlightened East
Emma Woelk, St. Edwards’s University

Round Table 2: Mentoring in the Humanities
Chair: Konrad H. Jarausch, UNC Chapel Hill

Richard Apgar, Sewanee: University of the South
Flora Cassen, UNC Chapel Hill
Carrie Duncan, Independent Scholar
Michael Figueroa, UNC Chapel Hill
Sally Hatch Gray, Mississippi State University
Priscilla Layne, UNC Chapel Hill

Monday, April 15

Panel 4: Enlightenment, Modernity, and Bildung
Moderators: Nicholas Miller, Loyola University Maryland and Malachi Hacohen, Duke University

Solomon Maimon’s Autobiography and the Task of the Retranslator
Paul Reitter, The Ohio State University

Jesus and Moses as Figures of Modernity
Karin L. Schutjer, University of Oklahoma

Negotiating Modernist Style in the German-Jewish Galicia Novel (1930-1945)
Kata Gellen, Duke University

The Turn to Jewish and Non-Jewish Encounters in Jewish Studies
Klaus Hödl, Universität Graz

Panel 5: Keeping the Lights On
Moderator: Agnes Mueller, University of South Carolina

Antisemitism and Wagner’s Legacy in Avner Dorman’s Opera Wahnfried (2017)
Kerry Wallach, Gettysburg College

Auschwitz Enlightenment, or: What Farocki Taught
William Collins Donahue, University of Notre Dame

German Jewish lengevitch: Experiments in Writing
Leslie Morris, University of Minnesota

Middlebrow Literatures and the Remaking of German Jewish Identity in the Twenty-first Century
Katja Garloff, Reed College

Contact Info: 

Joshua Shelly, Graduate Student, Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies (UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University)

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