Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why Judaic Studies? (Syracuse University) (Pitching the Minor & Major)

[[ I had a long talk with my dear friend and colleague Gail Hamner, who is an all-around Marx–Peirce–Foucault–Deleuze–Film–Science–Christian-Studies maven. With her help, I finally came up with a multi-part pitch for Judaic Studies, meant to appeal to undergraduates at … Continue reading

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(Why?) Judaic Studies & the Humanities

This is the longer version of what I compacted the other day onto a single page, trying to find some kind of orienting point around which to build up a Judaic Studies Program. As the new director of Judaic Studies … Continue reading

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Disaster Aesthetics (Hurricane Sandy)

I had the same thoughts after the tsunami-nuclear disaster in Japan. And here too, I’m always struck by disaster aesthetics. These pictures online at Atlantic Magazine are too beautiful. It’s always the architectural element that predominates. Almost always, the  human … Continue reading

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(Hurricane) (Coordination) (States of Emergency) (Politics)

Apart from the physical devastation, or perhaps haunting it, the eeriest part of Hurricane Sandy, in my estimation, was how an entire region, or a city actually shuts down, in an orderly process. In New York, first the bus and … Continue reading

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(Modern) Judaic Studies & the Humanities

This is what I have come up with, trying to pitch a major in Modern Judaic Studies to the undergraduate student body here at Syracuse. The tricky part is how to frame the major as a double major and synchronize … Continue reading

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Hajj (Policing)

[Saudi policemen monitor screens connected to cameras set up at places around the holy city of Mecca. (R)] Religion and high-tech surveillance. Visually, very cool. I found it at the English language website of the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi … Continue reading

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The European Left, Jews, and “Resistance” (Zizeks, Badious, Butlers et.al)

What strikes me reading Colin Shindler’s opinion piece in the NYT about the European Left and Islamist anti-Semitism is how little Europe matters to contemporary  Jewish thought and culture, except when the problem of anti-Semitism hits the newspapers. Most of … Continue reading

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World, Art, and the Spiritual in Art (the New York Times)

I came to art and music kind of late, in my mid 30s, to address a set of problems in 20th c. Jewish philosophy. I was pointed to Bauhaus, where I stumbled upon Kandinsky, Klee, and then Franz Marc, and … Continue reading

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Night Commute (Syracuse –> NYC)

[US 80W at Columbia, NJ, just below Delware Gap] I like all the neon at this pit stop on the Jersey side of the NJ-PA border. You get the cheap gas. It’s time to think, to plot things out and … Continue reading

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Zionist Synagogue (Judaism & Zionism)

I’m not quite finished reading David Kaufman’s Shul with a Pool, a history of the American synagogue focused on the synagogue-center idea and institution. But I wanted to get to the section of the chapter on “shul” where David writes … Continue reading

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