Membership update (August 2021)

When we launched the Nordic Network for Jewish Studies in January 2020, we sent out a call for academic and lay members with an interest in Jewish Studies (broadly considered) to join us in co-creating this new forum. And, we are so pleased with the responses we received! In this post we want to share with you a summary of the data we received from our membership to give you an idea of the profile, location, and interests of our Network’s members. You can read the full report here.

Summary of the responses received

As of 29 August 2021, our membership GoogleForm has received responses from 87 members based in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (plus Israel and the UK). Of these members, 77 were affiliated with a higher education or other public cultural institution, and the remaining 10 members were unaffiliated.

A. Affiliated members

Those who indicated that they had an institutional affiliation were collectively associated with 25 higher education and cultural institutions in the Nordic region, as well as two further universities in the UK and in Israel.

Affiliated members have an incredibly wide range of academic research interests that span the full range of Jewish Studies and its subdisciplines of history, language and area studies, literature, holocaust and genocide studies, migration studies, gender and sexuality studies, contemporary Jewish communities, heritage and cultural preservation, as well as antisemitism, Jewish/non-Jewish relations and inter-faith encounters.

The teaching areas listed by affiliated members mirrored the range of subject areas seen in the research interests represented in the group, and showed also the wide-range of settings in which teaching takes place, including: full courses delivered in-person or at distance, occasional/sessional lecturing, short-courses and intensive workshops, as well as talks and events in public and community-facing settings.

Most of our members are either current or former supervisors of MA and PhD students.

B. Unaffiliated members

Those respondents who did not indicate affiliation with Higher Education institutions were asked to identify the sector they work in. The responses include: education and teaching, independent researchers, media and communications, religious institutions and in healthcare. There are also a few retired members among the unaffiliated respondents.

Our unaffiliated members listed a broad range of interests in Jewish Studies (broadly defined), including historical and contemporary Jewish communities, cultures, languages and literatures. Some members were interested in learning about Jewish Studies courses that were offered in the Nordic Region.

C. What members would like the Network to share and what they would like to share with the Network in return.

Among the 77 affiliated members, the majority of respondents wanted the Network to share research news as well as announcements of academic events (upcoming lectures, seminars, conferences, etc), but all options received strong responses. The majority of respondents in this group also wanted to be able to share their research news and academic event announcements with the Network, and again all options received a fairly even spread of responses.

Among the 10 unaffiliated members, most wanted the Network to share research news and academic event announcements, and most wanted to share announcements of non-academic events (public engagement events, etc.)

D. Final comments

Last, but not least, we would like to say a big thank you to you all for the comments you shared at the conclusion of the form. I have included a selection of these in the full report. We were so appreciative of all the enthusiasm and support expressed, and look forward to continuing to create this space together with you all.

What next?

We so appreciate all the responses we received, which will inform our activities going forward. In the meantime, we would be grateful if you might be willing to do some of the following:

  1. Read the full report to learn more about our members.
  2. Encourage those who have an interest in our activities to join our Network – whether as members or as recipients of our news by subscribing to our blog. That includes colleagues, students, members of your religious community and lay people – so long as they have an interest in Jewish Studies (broadly considered), they are more than welcome.
  3. Engage with us! Send us your news, event announcements, research project summaries, courses, and more. The data received via the membership form indicated a huge amount of interest in receiving news from other members, as well as interest among our membership to share their news with the Network. We would love to facilitate this!

The Nordic Network for Jewish Studies was founded and is run by Dr Katharina Keim and Dr Karin Zetterholm at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to receive the latest news from the Network in your email inbox! You are always welcome to get in touch with us at admin[dot]nordicjewishstudies[at]ctr[dot]lu[dot]se.

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