Monday, January 24, 2011

Center for Jewish Studies events coming in February

Marcelo Dimentstein and Alejandro Dujovne
"A Fragmented Tradition: Jewish Studies in Argentina"
4-6pm, February 1, 2011
UCSC Humanities 1 Room 210
Compared with other Jewish Communities in the diaspora, the Argentine Jewish community presents a remarkable paradox: Although it is the largest, most plural and probably the most highly institutionalized Jewish community in Latin America, it has lacked a tradition of academic Jewish studies. Taking this paradox as our point of departure, in this lecture we will explore the historical conditions that limited this development. The study of this question will allow us not only to approach the understanding of the current trends of Jewish studies in the country, but also to focus our attention on some cultural aspects of Argentine Jewish history.

Alon Tal
"War, Peace and the Environment in the Middle East"
7-8pm, February 7, 2011
UCSC Humanities 1 Room 210
The history of the Israeli- Arab wars has had environmental implications which are often overlooked. Some pessimists argue that the next war will in the Middle East will be fought over water resources, especially with climate change so profoundly changing precipitation patterns in the Mediterranean region. As the conflict drags on past its 60th year, we will consider how the environment of Israel and in neighboring lands has been affected. How might the environment provide a bridge to bring the parties together? Did past peace agreements do a good job of ensuring environmental cooperation? President Obama is not the first to propose a “peace park” as one way of breaking the impasse on the Golan Heights. Learn about Naharaim – the existing Israeli-Jordan peace park and consider Israel’s environment in a regional context.

Robert Alter
Translating the Bible: The Wisdom Books
Helen Diller Distinguished Lecture
5-7 PM, February 16, 2011
Humanities 1, Room 210
Robert Alter is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-four published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses. He has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal, and the self-reflexive tradition in the novel. Books by him have been translated into eight different languages.

Friday, January 21, 2011

JSTOR Hebrew Journals Pilot Project

"This project is first and foremost a collaboration between the University of Haifa, the National Library of Israel and JSTOR to meet the needs of scholars working throughout the world in Hebrew language scholarship. By collaborating, the University of Haifa will gain expertise in creating digital content, and JSTOR will gain vital knowledge as it works to expand the range of languages represented on the JSTOR platform, particularly through the experience the University shares through its participation in other digitization projects in Hebrew.

The journals in the Hebrew Journals Pilot support JSTOR's and the University of Haifa's shared goal of widening the scope of available materials in JSTOR to support research and new scholarship. The University of Haifa is working with the National Library of Israel to ensure that full back runs of the digitized journals are preserved in print, while JSTOR will serve as the stable platform for access."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Upcoming Jewish Studies seminars at UCSC

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
12 - 1 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210

In the late nineteenth century, a socialist workers’ movement burst onto the scene in New York City’s immigrant Jewish “ghetto.” Over subsequent decades and in cities around the country, hundreds of thousands of men and women participated in this Jewish labor movement. They recast Jewish culture and community, and made a strong imprint on American politics and social movements. Where did the Jewish labor movement come from? According to an old and widespread misperception, immigrants transplanted radical traditions from Russia onto American soil. In fact, the reverse was true. In the 1880s and 1890s, most immigrants first discovered socialism in New York and other cities. They built the Jewish labor movement from scratch without support from Russia. Indeed, New Yorkers provided crucial assistance to Russian Jewish revolutionaries, enabling to start a workers movement of their own.

Tony Michels is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz (Stevenson, ’89) and is now a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His book, A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York, won the Salo Baron Prize from the American Academy for Jewish Research for the best first book in Jewish Studies. Michels is editor of the forthcoming book, Jewish Radicals: A Documentary History and co-editor of the Cambridge History of Judaism: The Modern Era, to be published in 2013. He is currently writing a history of Jewish Communists and Anti-Communists in the United States.

Thursday, January 13, 2011
12 - 1 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210

How did Algerian Jews respond to and appropriate France’s newly conceived “civilizing mission” in the mid-nineteenth century? The mission to civilize may have been rooted in French Revolutionary ideals of regeneration, enlightenment, and emancipation, but it developed “on the ground” as a strategic response to the challenges of controlling the diverse and unruly populations of Algeria’s cities. This meant weakening the influence of local networks and institutions in Algeria by “uplifting” the supposedly oppressed and corrupt Jews of Algeria and attaching them to the French administration. Central to this gendered, moralizing campaign was an effort to submit Algerian Jews to French marriage and family law. Taken together, civilizing’s various policies were intended to help establish a colonial hierarchy by dividing Jews from their Muslim neighbors. Local Algerian Jews, however, were not passive recipients of this campaign. While energetically adopting the language of civilization, they used it to maintain their own rabbis, synagogues, and schools, and to resist policies intended to reshape their marriage customs, institutional life, and religious faith.

Joshua Schreier is an Associate Professor of History at Vassar College. He received is BA from the University of Chicago and his MA and Ph.D. from New York University. He has also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Middlebury College. Schreier works at the intersection of Middle Eastern, Algerian, Jewish, and French histories. His research focuses on French colonialism in Algeria, and notably how several deeply-rooted North African Jewish communities responded to French imperial policy in the years before the rise of the “Imperial” (Third) Republic in 1870. He is interested in how French officials deployed the ideology of “civilization” to consolidate colonial rule, but also how local actors co-opted, reformulated, or deflected it. He has also written about how French lawmakers and legal thinkers used Jewish and Muslim religious law, and specifically those concerning the family, to deny or confer citizenship to Algerian Muslims and Jews. His forthcoming book is entitled “‘Arabs of the Jewish Faith:’ The Civilizing Mission in Colonial Algeria.”

Professor Schreier teaches an introductory course on the modern Middle East, as well as intermediate courses on the Israel-Palestine conflict and French colonial cultures.

This event is cosponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the UC Mediterranean Studies MRP.