CfP: A Jewish Europe? Virtual and Real-Life Spaces in the 21st Century (Gothenburg & Southampton)

We are delighted to share with you a Call for Papers for the upcoming conference, A Jewish Europe? Virtual and Real-Life Spaces in the 21st Century (jointly organised by the Universities of Gothenburg and Southampton). The conference will be hosted by the University of Gothenburg and will take place on 3-5 May 2022.

CfP: A Jewish Europe? Virtual and Real-Life Spaces in the 21st Century

Centre for European Research, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton, U.K. 

As the president of the Conference of European Rabbis recently stated, the European Union invited Jews to be part of the European project, “not as outsiders, but as fully fledged citizens of Europe”. But, given the continuity of antisemitism and the rise in attacks against Jewish institutions, “sadly, the Jews of Europe have had to ask themselves yet again if there is a future on the continent”. Yet again – this ambivalence has a long history indeed, marked by restrictions and tolerance, by antisemitism and fruitful exchange, by genocide and the common desire to learn from the past. Europe has been a home for Jewish communities for more than two millennia, and Jewish individuals have been fundamental to the development of enlightenment thought, science and law, the arts, civic culture and political integration. What and where would Europe be without the Jewish population? And what does Europe today mean for Jews, individually and as a community?

During the last thirty years scholars have discussed the development both of an enduring “Jewish space” as well as new “Jewish spaces” (Diana Pinto) and new forms of “virtual Jewishness” (Ruth Ellen Gruber), both referring to different forms of co-construction and co-operation. Given the fact that “Europe’s Jewish population has dropped 60% in last 50 years” (The Guardian, 25/10/2020), are we left with just a “European Route of Jewish heritage”? Or are there new and promising options for “Being Jewish in 21st Century Central Europe”? Have non-Jewish memorial institutions, performances and practices created just an imaginary and nostalgic Jewish past, and if so, what is its role? And what roles are the historic and revived Jewish communities playing in the creation of a European Jewish future? European and global familial and scholarly networks, facilitated by the digital environment during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, challenge us to look at the relationship between virtual and real-life encounters: can these digital spaces serve as a reminder that despite the current crisis Jewish life in Europe will continue? 

Amidst the current revival of academic, cultural and civil interest in the notion of “Jewish Europe”, this workshop aims to explore the development, role, influence and shape of virtual spaces in different forms related to contemporary European Jewry. How are digital practices related to real-life practices and spaces performed and inhabited by Europe’s Jewry? What do virtual spaces reveal about Jewish engagement with the geographical location and the idea of Europe? And, ultimately, what do virtual spaces tell us about the existence and future of a “Jewish Europe”? What do they say about transcending the borders of “Jewish Europe” and fostering membership in a global Jewish presence?

We welcome papers that engage with the intersection of Jewish European-ness, real-life practices and virtual spaces from topics related but not limited to: 

·      Networks and transnationalism

·      Heritage institutions, memory practices and nostalgia

·      Jewish/non-Jewish encounters

·      Jewish ideas, meanings and conceptualisations of Europe

·      Jewish contribution to European-ness and a European identity

·      Historical and geographical comparisons

·      Jewish responses to crisis, such as the pandemic, migration, antisemitism and violence

·      Jewish sense of (non-)belonging to Europe

·      Digital Humanities and digital history

We are proud to announce Ruth Ellen Gruber (coordinator of Jewish Heritage Europe) and Diana Pinto (independent researcher) as confirmed keynote speakers.

To apply, please send an abstract of 250 words and a short biography to maja.hultman@gu.se by 10 December 2021. Accepted participants will be notified at the end of December 2021. The workshop is planned to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on 3-5 May 2022, granted that the pandemic is under control. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume.

The conference is generously supported by European Association for Jewish Studies and The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, and PhD students and early career researchers will be able to apply for economic support towards travel and accommodation. Please state clearly in your application if you want to be considered for the scholarship. 

If any questions should arise, please contact maja.hultman@gu.se.

Organisers:

Dr Maja Hultman, University of Gothenburg

Professor Joachim Schlör, University of Southampton

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.

Event: Lunch with Jewish Studies, Lund University, 5 October via Zoom

On Friday 5 October at 12:00-13:00 CEST Lund will be holding another ‘Lunch with Jewish Studies’ event.

The organisers welcome all staff and students at Lund University, as well as interested future students from across the Nordic region, to join us for an hour to learn about Jewish Studies as a discipline.

Lund University has 10 staff affiliated with Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Language and Literature and in the Humanities-Theology Faculty. Our members teach and research in a range of Jewish Studies sub-disciplines including religious studies, theology, ancient, medieval and modern history, art history, and language and area studies.

Through ‘Lunch with Jewish Studies’ we will introduce our sub-disciplines, highlight courses we offer including study abroad opportunities, and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Advance registration is not required. Join the event via zoom.

For further information, contact Karin Zetterholm and/or Rakel Nihlén.

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.

Event: Guest lecture by Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Lund University, 14 October 2021 (on Zoom)

On 14 October at 15.30 CEST (GMT+2) Professor Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) will offer a guest lecture on the topic “How much Christianity did the Babylonian Rabbis know? Rabbinic Responses to Christian Biblical Exegesis.”

The lecture will take place on Zoom and is part of the Second Nordic Postgraduate Forum in Jewish Studies programme.

To register, please fill out our GoogleForm. The Zoom link will be sent out to those registered the day before the event. For more information, please contact Karin Zetterholm.

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.

PhD Disputation: “Reading Romans, Constructing Paul(s): A Conversation between Messianic Jews in Jerusalem and Paul within Judaism Scholars,” Lund University, 24 September 2021 (and online via zoom)

Jennifer Nyström (Lunds Universitet) disputerar på den nytestamentliga avhandlingen “Reading Romans, Constructing Paul(s): A Conversation between Messianic Jews in Jerusalem and Paul within Judaism Scholars” kl 13:15, 24 September 2021.

Fakultetsopponent är prof. Kathy Ehrensperger vid Universität Potsdam.

Du som vill följa disputationen via Zoom kan maila bitr. prefekt Blazenka Scheuer för att få dig länken tillsänd.

Mer information och kalendar länken finns här.

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.

Event announcement: Seminar and book launch, “Judar och andra Malmöbor,” 24 September 2021

On Friday 24 September 2021 the history seminar at Malmö University will welcome Arne Järtelius, who will present his forthcoming book, “Judar och andra Malmöbor som skildrar tiden från 1933 till 1951” (Kira Forlag, autumn 2021).

The publisher describes the book in a recent blogpost:

Just nu lägger vi sista handen vid Arne Järtelius bok Judar och andra Malmöbor som skildrar tiden från 1933 till 1951. Början sker med mottagandet av enskilda judiska flyktingar från Tyskland, slutar gör det med att Sverige 1952 får religionsfrihet och att judarna med det fritt kunde välja om de fortsatt ville tillhöra en judisk församling eller inte. Under den i boken skildrade tiden händer i Malmöförsamlingen sådant som hela tre byten av rabbin, inrättandet av ett permanent ungdomsläger i Tjörnarp, mottagandet av flera tusen judiska flyktingar, bildandet av ett stort antal judiska föreningar i staden med idrottsklubben Hakoah, Judiska kulturella klubben och Judisk ungdom som de livaktigaste; alltsammans inramat av en ständig kamp mot olika nazistiska och antisemitiska inslag i gatubilden och i tidningarna.Release senare i höst. Inbunden. 329 sidor. 

The seminar will take place in Swedish and will be on Zoom. If you would like to attend, please contact Johan Lundin for more information.

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.

Lecture announcement: Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University and Hartford Seminary) at Gothenburg University, 20-21 October 2021, online via Zoom.

The Biblical Studies seminar at Gothenburg University will host two evening guest lectures by Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Prof Levine is Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita & Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita at Vanderbilt University) as part of their Autumn 2021 programme.

20/10 (16.15–18.00)
PARABLES AND PREJUDICE: HOW STORIES ABOUT JEWS BECOME STORIES AGAINST JEWS

21/10 (16.15–18.00)
WHEN THE BIBLE BECOMES WEAPONIZED: DETECTING AND DISARMING JEW-HATRED

Respondent: Kamilla Skarström Hinojosa
Chair: Gunnar Samuelsson

The two lectures and discussion following will take place in English. If you would like to join, please contact Tobias Hägerland (Docent and Lecturer in Religious Studies and Theology) for more details and the zoom link. You are also welcome to attend the other seminar sessions should you wish, however you must contact Dr Hägerland in advance to register your interest. NB: the discussion following the other seminar papers will take place in Swedish.

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.

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.

Event announcement: Apocalyptic as a Literary Phenomenon in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, 13-14 September, online via Zoom

We are pleased to announce an upcoming workshop on the theme of Apocalyptic as a Literary Phenomenon in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

This online two-day workshop is the first from a consortium that brings together scholars from different disciplines to encourage innovative discussion about the nature of apocalyptic writings, interrelationships between Jewish, Christian and Islamic apocalyptic traditions and their contribution to Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.

The focus of the first workshop is to explore apocalyptic as a literary phenomenon up to Late Antiquity and to highlight trends and distinctive elements within the apocalyptic literary world of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

You can find details of the programme below and download it as a pdf here.

All are welcome! If you would like to join us for this workshop, please register via Eventbrite by 8 September 2021 at 18:00 CEST. The Zoom link for the sessions will be sent to those who have registered after this date.

If you have any questions, please do contact both Helen Spurling (Southampton) and Katharina Keim (Lund).

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.

Events: Jewish Studies Seminar at Lund University, Autumn 2021

The Centre for Jewish Studies at Lund University is pleased to announce this autumn’s Jewish Studies Seminar schedule.

All meetings (except the joint seminar with History of Religions on 24 November) will take place on online via Zoom.

All are welcome! Please get in touch with Karin Zetterholm if you would like to attend in order to get access to the Zoom link as well as any pre-circulated information.

Please note regarding the times: 13–15 means that we start at 13.15 in accordance with the old Lund University custom. 9.00, by contrast, means 9.00 sharp.

DateTimeSpeaker and paper title
9/913–15Daniel Weiss, Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge, presents his research project, “Jesus-followers and non-minim in early rabbinic literature” and guides us through a close reading of a few tannaitic texts. Jointly with the NT seminar and Patristics.
30/915–17Daniel Leviathan, doctoral candidate at Lund University, presents the introductory chapter of his dissertation.
14–15/109.00–17.00 9.00–13.00Second Nordic Postgraduate Forum in Jewish Studies
(in collaboration with the University of Tübingen)

PhD students in Jewish Studies and related areas will present their work and receive feedback.

There will also be a guest lecture by Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, “How much Christianity did the Babylonian Rabbis know? Rabbinic Responses to Christian Biblical Exegesis.” For registration and further info, click here.
24/1113-15Lena Roos, Södertörns högskola, presenterar sitt RJ-projekt ”Spår av jiddischkeit: Jiddischsamlingen på judiska biblioteket”. Samseminarium med religionshistoria. NB: This meeting will not take place online, and the paper will be presented in Swedish.
2/1215–17Guest lecture by Avigdor Shinan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on rabbinic biblical interpretation.

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.

News and greetings for the start of the new academic year 2021/22

So, it is that time of year again when the summer break is rapidly coming to an end and the academic year begins anew. We hope that you have all had a restful, Nordic-style summer break and that you are ready for the new term.

At the Nordic Network for Jewish Studies we feel that the new academic year presents a perfect opportunity to reiterate our invitation to you all to share your news with us.

The Network was founded with the intention of creating a platform to connect scholars in Jewish Studies and related fields from across the Nordic region and, with this in mind, we would love it if you could get in touch with us to share Jewish Studies news and events.

You may wish, for example, to:

  • showcase a specific research project,
  • outline a pedagogical tool or innovation,
  • announce a new publication, or to prepare a review of a recent publication,
  • announce (or report on) an academic event, a public engagement event or similar initiative, or
  • advertise a course.

You are welcome to write to us with the details of the item you’d like to share. You are welcome to prepare the text of your announcement (circa 500 words maximum) but, if you cannot, we can write up the information you provide. News can be shared in any of the Scandinavian languages or in English.

Your news will be shared to our blog’s subscribers (and if you aren’t yet a subscriber, please do sign up below!) and with the Network’s twitter followers (@nordicjewishst). More information about how to prepare your submission can be found on our author guidelines page.

We look forward to hearing from you! And, to sharing your news and events with the Network.

Katharina Keim and Karin Zetterholm

Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University

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.