10th Annual Jewish Studies Graduate Association Conference (online)
Borns Jewish Studies Program
Indiana University Bloomington
Jews, Judaism, and Crisis
Proposal Submission Deadline: October 29, 2021
The past year has brought unprecedented challenges to Jews and Judaism. A global pandemic, the ongoing climate catastrophe, and a renewed conflict in Israel/Palestine has shaken the lives of Jews around the world. In the academic world, at a juncture when many argue that there is a “crisis in the humanities,” is Jewish Studies as a field in crisis? The 2022 Indiana University Jewish Studies Graduate Student Association conference seeks to examine these and other crises which have shaped Jewish life historically and in our contemporary world. Currently in its tenth year, this conference celebrates a decade of bringing graduate students together to present their research and think creatively about the possibilities and future of Jewish studies. This conference will be online and will take place on February 3-4, 2022. Zoom links will be provided with passwords on the conference itinerary.
While participants may explore any questions, subjects, and topics related to the conference theme of Jews, Judaism, and Crisis, we particularly welcome papers that explore Jewish life in the era of pandemic, climate catastrophe, and racial injustice, among other so-called ‘crises.’ Additionally, this conference seeks presenters who will recast our understanding of what are now ‘canonical’ Jewish historical crises – from the destruction of the Second Temple to the expulsion of Spanish Jews to the Holocaust. Finally, we are also interested in challenging the notion of ‘Jews in crisis’ itself. From intermarriage to religious reform, some Jews have spoken about a people ‘in crisis.’ To what extent is this a flawed or simplistic narrative? In simpler terms, are Jews, Judaism, or Jewish Studies really in crisis?
Participants are also encouraged to explore the various ways of defining and conceptualizing Jews and Judaism in ‘crisis.’ What methodological tools may best be employed to understand moments of historical crisis or our contemporary ones? How might Jewish Studies provide an interdisciplinary approach to the perception and experience of ‘crisis,’ past and present? How does memory affect our perception of crises? How do interactions with non-Jews shape and challenge perceptions of normality versus crisis? Is crisis a historical event, a collective trauma, or can it manifest individually?
As the globe continues to confront the challenges of Covid-19 and impending ecological disaster, papers may explore intersections of the scholarly and the personal. How was/is crisis experienced from personal, societal, and theological perspectives?
We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Lillian Solotkin Keynote Lecture will be given by Dr. Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Viterbi Family Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Titled “Queen of Herbs: A Plants-Eyed View of the Sephardic Diaspora,” Dr. Stein’s lecture will use new research in ethno-botany to reconsider the relationships of Sephardic Jews to land, landscape, and plants, as well as their class mobility in the modern Ottoman and post-Ottoman contexts.
The conference is open to all graduate students working in Jewish Studies. Abstracts will be evaluated based on quality and fit. This is an interdisciplinary conference and we welcome papers from many fields including but not limited to History, Anthropology, and Sociology, Music, Literature, Religion, Folklore, Visual and Performance Art, and Political Science.
We invite graduate students to submit proposals for their 20-minute papers, which should include the following information: a paper title, an abstract of between 150 and 300 words, contact information, including name, email address, telephone number, and graduate institution.
Please send proposals as an e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 29, 2021.
Final decisions will be made no later than Friday, December 10, 2021. If you are invited to speak, we ask that you submit a full version of your paper no later than Friday, January 14, 2022