(AJS Annual Conference) Picks (2019)

ajs

Contrary to what what some people say, the AJS is a good place for Jewish philosophy and thought. A page is being turned. At this year’s upcoming annual conference in San Diego, there is not much by way of Buber, Rosenzweig, Strauss, and Levinas, and what there is is fresh. Here are my picks looking ahead, relating to modern Jewish thought and things of adjacent, vital interest: rabbinics and Maimonides, space and place, gender and sexuality, affect, animals and aesthetics. I’m below at 3:11 and 11:10 with new colleagues and old friends. The whole program is here.

SUNDAY, DEC. 15

12;30-2:00

1.2 Aqua 303 (3rd Floor)
BIOGRAPHIES, SUBJECTIVITY IN EUROPEAN JEWISH CULTURE
Chair: Lara Curtis (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
The Problem of Attention in Kafka, Benjamin, Celan
Noam Pines (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Childhood Is Destiny: The Trials of Franz Kafka
Matthew Creighton (The University of Chicago)
How Émile Zola Reimagined the Role of the Pereire Brothers in
Nineteenth-Century Parisian Fiction; The Jews Who Transformed
Paris
Christina Leah Sztajnkrycer (University of Washington)
Here’s Looking at Jew, Gertrude Stein: North Africa, Vichy, and the
Intellectual Resistance
Amy Feinstein (New York City Department of Education)

1.3 Aqua 307 (3rd Floor)
AFFECT AND EMOTION IN ANCIENT JUDAISM
Chair: Françoise Mirguet (Arizona State University)
Feeling Gaps: Emotions, Historiography, and the Destruction of the
Second Temple
Erez DeGolan (Columbia University)
“Unconscious Despair” and the Legalization of Affect in Rabbinic
Literature
Sarah Wolf (The Jewish Theological Seminary)
Global Trauma and the Social-Psychological Propaganda of the
Rabbis
Matthew Goldstone (Academy for Jewish Religion)

1.14 Aqua Salon D (3rd Floor)
JEWISHNESS AND BLACKNESS THROUGH THE LENS OF
BLACKKKLANSMAN
Chair: Naomi Sarah Taub (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Easy Coalition in Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman
Derik Smith (Claremont McKenna College)
The Scale of Racial Feeling in Blackkklansman
Dean Franco (Wake Forest University)
JewKlansman
Brett Ashley Kaplan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Respondent: Marc Dollinger (San Francisco State University)

4:15-5:45

2.6 Aqua 314 (3rd Floor)
MEMMI@99: NOW MORE THAN EVER
Chair: Michael Lejman (Arkansas State University Mid-South)
Memmi on Exile and Diaspora
Margaux Fitoussi (Columbia University)
Memmi and Jewish Francophone Literature
Lia Nicole Brozgal (University of California, Los Angeles)
Memmi, Zionism, and the Left
Susie Linfield (New York University)
Memmi on Decolonization and Postcolonialism
Daniel Gordon (University of Massachusetts–Amherst)
Memmi on Racism and Post-Holocaust Judeophobia
Jonathan Judaken (Rhodes College)

2.8 Sapphire 411B (4th Floor)
Chair: Nadav Berman Shifman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
RETHINKING ICONS OF MODERN JEWISH THOUGHT
Buber’s Babies: The Unspoken in Modern Jewish Thought
Dustin N. Atlas (University of Dayton)
Michael Wyschogrod: Between Karl Barth and Martin Heidegger
Daniel Herskowitz (University of Oxford)
Hans Jonas as a Naturalistic Theist
Bar El Guzi (Brandeis University)
The Maimonideanism of Michael Wyschogrod
Vincent Calabrese (University of Toronto)

2.10 Sapphire 410B (4th Floor)
THE TALMUD IN NON-JEWISH CULTURE
Chair: Christine Hayes (Yale University)
The Talmud and the Paris School of Jewish Thought
Ori Werdiger (University of Chicago)
The Talmud and Weimar German Jewish Intellectuals
Zohar Maor (Bar-Ilan University)
The Talmud in the University
Malachi Haim Hacohen (Duke University)
Respondent: Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert (Stanford University)

2.16 Sapphire Ballroom OP (4th Floor)
“PHOTOSCAPES” IN JEWISH HISTORY: LOCATIONS AND
TOPOGRAPHIES OF JEWISH VISUAL CULTURE
Chairs: Maya Benton (International Center of Photography)
Rebekka Grossmann (The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem)
Discussants: Deborah Dash Moore (University of Michigan)
David Shneer (University of Colorado Boulder)
Nadya Bair (Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow)
Sara B. Blair (University of Michigan)
Sarah Leonard (Simmons University)
Abigail Lewis (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Elijah Teitelbaum (University of Cambridge)
Laura J. Wexler (Yale University)

2.17 Sapphire Ballroom KL (4th Floor)
RABBINIC HISTORICAL HORIZONS
Chair: Jeffrey L. Rubenstein (New York University)
Discussants: Simcha M. Gross (University of Pennsylvania)
James A. Redfield (Saint Louis University)
Mira Balberg (University of California, San Diego)
Natalie B. Dohrmann (University of Pennsylvania)
Hayim Lapin (University of Maryland)
Annette Yoshiko Reed (New York University)
Jillian Theresa Stinchcomb (University of Pennsylvania)

MONDAY, DEC. 16

8:30-10:00

3.10 Sapphire 410B (4th Floor)
RELIGION AND AESTHETICS
Chair: Asaf Angermann (University of Louisville)
Avant-Garde or Maintenance Art? Messianism and Gender in
Contemporary Jewish Thought
Zachary J. Braiterman (Syracuse University)
Franz Rosenzweig and the Reinvention of Religious Quest
Stephanie Brenzel (University of Toronto)
Repicturing Rosenzweig in Confluence with Heinrich Wölfflin
Caleb Hendrickson (University of Virginia)

3.16 Aqua Salon F (3rd Floor)
“THE POWER OF TRUTH”: THE IMPACT OF WISSENSCHAFT DES
JUDENTUMS ON ITS OPPONENTS
Chair: Kenneth B. Moss (Johns Hopkins University)
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Black Cover: The Internalization of
Wissenschaft Methodology by Orthodox Historians
Eliezer Sariel (Shaanan College and Ohalo College)
From Wissenschaft des Judentums to the “Science of Zionism”
Israel Bartal (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Respondent: Michael A. Meyer (Hebrew Union College)

3.17 Sapphire Ballroom OP (4th Floor)
SHIʿA AND JEWISH LEGAL REASONING IN DIALOGUE
Chairs: Beth A. Berkowitz (Barnard College)
Noam Hoffmann (Tel Aviv University and Ono Academic
College)
Discussants: Suzanne Last Stone (Yeshiva University)
Sergey Dolgopolski (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Elias Sacks (University of Colorado Boulder)
Seyed Amir Asghari (Indiana University Bloomington)
Sarah Wolf (The Jewish Theological Seminary)
Chaya Halberstam (King’s University College, University
of Western Ontario)
Cameron Zargar (University of Exeter)
Ezra David Tzfadya (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg)

10:30-12:00

4.3 Aqua 307 (3rd Floor)
SUBJECT FORMATION IN HALAKHAH AND LITURGY: PRACTICE,
DESIRE, AND GENDER
Chair: Randi Lynn Rashkover (George Mason University)
Moral Perfectionism in Imperfect Conditions: Moses Mendelssohn
on Moral Subject Formation
Sarah V. Zager (Yale University)
Directing Desire: Finding a Language for Jewish Liturgical
Subjectivity
Bethany A. Slater (Boston College)
In Search of Halakhic Woman: Gender Essentialism, Feminism, and
Jewish Religious Practice
Nechama Juni (Brown University)
Respondent: H. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College)

4.14 Aqua Salon D (3rd Floor)
RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM IN JEWISH HISTORY: ANCIENT, MEDIEVAL,
AND MODERN
Sponsored by the American Academy of Jewish Research
Chair: James A. Diamond (University of Waterloo)
Religious Extremism: Ancient
Martha Himmelfarb (Princeton University)
Religious Extremism: The Middle Ages
David Berger (Yeshiva University)
Religious Extremism: Modern
Shaul Magid (Dartmouth College)

1:30-3:00

5.1 Aqua 305 (3rd Floor)
RABBINIC THEOLOGIES
Chair: Aryeh Cohen (American Jewish University)
Divine Happiness in Rabbinic Literature
Edmond Isaac Zuckier (Yale University)
Jews, Gentiles, and Gehinnom in Rabbinic Literature
Dov Weiss (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Eschatology in Comparative Analysis: Rabbis and Church Fathers
Jenny R. Labendz (St. Francis College)

5.2 Aqua 303 (3rd Floor)
THE MAIMONIDEAN ENIGMA: WILL THE REAL MAIMONIDES STAND
UP?
Chair: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (Arizona State University)
Back to Ibn Tibbon and Strauss: Maimonides as Political Esoteric
Philosopher
Haim Kreisel (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Maimonides in the Socratic Mode: Philosophical Success or Failure?
Tamar Rudavsky (The Ohio State University)
The “Jewish” Maimonides: Midrashist and Parshan
James A. Diamond (University of Waterloo)
Respondent: Kenneth R. Seeskin (Northwestern University)

5.8 Sapphire 410A (4th Floor)
BETWEEN ACTIVISM AND THEOLOGY: A CRITICAL EXAMINATION
OF THE ROLE OF YITZ GREENBERG IN AMERICAN JUDAISM
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Judaism in Israel and North
America, Bar-Ilan University
Moderator: Adam S. Ferziger (Bar-Ilan University)
Discussants: Sylvia Barack Fishman (Brandeis University)
Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Independent Scholar)
Michael A. Meyer (HUC–JIR)

Jonathan D. Sarna (Brandeis University)
Lea Taragin-Zeller (University of Cambridge)

5.10 Sapphire 400AB (4th Floor)
DOES THE PLACE MAKE THE JEWISH PHILOSOPHER?
Chair: Phillip Lieberman (Vanderbilt University)
Leo Strauss and Germany
Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University)
Spinoza’s Amsterdam
Daniel B. Schwartz (The George Washington University)
Emmanuel Levinas and Lithuania
Richard A. Freund (University of Hartford)
Maimonides the Andalusian
Lenn E. Goodman (Vanderbilt University)
Phillip Lieberman (Vanderbilt University)

3:30-5:00

6.2 Aqua 303 (3rd Floor)
HUMANITY, ANIMALITY, OTHERNESS, AND THE STUDY OF JEWISH
TRADITIONS
Moderator: Adrienne M. Krone (Allegheny College)
Discussants: Beth A. Berkowitz (Barnard College)
Jacob Ari Labendz (Youngstown State University)
Mira Beth Wasserman (Reconstructionist Rabbinical
College)
Daniel Haskell Weiss (University of Cambridge)

6.6 Sapphire Ballroom KL (4th Floor)
WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED!
Sponsored by the AJS Women’s Caucus
Moderator: Gayle Zachmann (University of Florida)

Discussants: Matthew Boxer (Brandeis University)
H. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College)
Sarah Imhoff (Indiana University Bloomington)
Gila Silverman (University of Arizona)
Jennifer Thompson (California

6.12 Aqua Salon AB (3rd Floor)
THE CRISIS OF JEWISH POLITICS IN FRANCE: ANTISEMITISM,
HOLOCAUST MEMORY, AND THE SHADOW OF ISRAEL/PALESTINE
Moderator: Ethan Katz (University of California, Berkeley)
Discussants: Joshua Cole (University of Michigan)
Norman JW Goda (University of Florida)
Sarah Esther Hammerschlag (University of Chicago)
Jonathan Judaken (Rhodes College)

6.17 Sapphire Ballroom KL (4th Floor)
MODERN JEWISH HISTORY AND THEORY: A ROUNDTABLE
Moderator: Chaya Halberstam (King’s University College, University
of Western Ontario)
Discussants: Lila Corwin Berman (Temple University)
Darcy Buerkle (Smith College)
Deborah Dash Moore (University of Michigan)
Lisa Silverman (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee)

5:15-6:45

7.1 Aqua 305 (3rd Floor)
CRESCAS IN A NEW LIGHT
Chair: Racheli Haliva (Hamburg University)
Crescas as an Esoteric Thinker: The Case of the Divine Will
Erik Dreff (High Point University)
Gersonides and Crescas on the Limits of the Influence of the
Heavenly Bodies and the Nature of Human Freedom
Alexander Green (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Crescas and Leibniz on Multiple Worlds
Igor Holanda De Souza (Yale University)
Respondent: Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh University)

7.3 Aqua 307 (3rd Floor)
BUILDING BRIDGES: FEMINIST MENTORSHIP, COLLABORATION,
AND COALITION-BUILDING
Moderator: Tahneer Oksman (Marymount Manhattan College)
Discussants: Chaya Halberstam (King’s University College,
University of Western Ontario)
Laura Limonic (College at Old Westbury, SUNY)
Helene Meyers (Southwestern University)
Melissa Sarah Weininger (Rice University)
Shayna Weiss (Brandeis University)

7.19 Indigo 204 A (2nd Floor)
A NEW HISTORY OF KABBALAH
Moderator: Nathaniel Berman (Brown University)
Discussants: Jonatan Moshe Benarroch (The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem)
Jonathan Dauber (Yeshiva University)
Sharon Faye Koren (HUC–JIR)
Hartley W. Lachter (Lehigh University)
Marla Segol (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

 

TUESDAY, DEC. 17

8:30-10:00

8.1 Aqua 305 (3rd Floor)
AMERICAN JEWISH SPIRITUALITY AND THE BODY
Chair: Catherine R. Power (University of Toronto)
Making the Soul Sensible: Learning to Feel Jewish Spiritual Values
Arielle Levites (The Jewish Theological Seminary)
Jewish Spiritual Midwifery: American Jewish Women’s Ways of
Knowing the Spiritual, Religious, and Biological Body
Cara Rock-Singer (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Deconstructing the Discourse(s) of Spirituality: Four Frames of
Jewish-Buddhist Spirituality
Emily Sigalow (UJA Federation of New York)

8.3 Aqua 307 (3rd Floor)
JEWISHNESS BEYOND LIBERALISM: NEW DIRECTIONS IN
AMERICAN JEWISH CULTURAL STUDIES
Moderator: Benjamin J. Schreier (Penn State University)
Discussants: Jennifer Glaser (University of Cincinnati)
Maxwell Ezra Greenberg (University of California, Los
Angeles)
Laura S. Levitt (Temple University)
Ben Ratskoff (University of California, Los Angeles)

8.8 Sapphire 411B (4th Floor)
LEVANTINISM IN OTTOMAN AND MANDATORY PALESTINE
Chair: Alma Heckman (University of California, Santa Cruz)
German Orientalism, Hebrew Literature, and the Representation of
Islam in the Levant
Ethan Pack (University of California, Los Angeles)
Martin Buber between East and West
Orr Scharf (University of Haifa)
A Jerusalemite Jewish Exegete: A Commentary on the First Chapter
of the Qur’an
Mostafa Hussein (University of Michigan)

8.18 Sapphire Ballroom KL (4th Floor)
RACE, GENDER, AND ZIONISM ON THE JEWISH LEFT
Chair: Ofer Nordheimer Nur (Tel Aviv University)
Chosen Family: Anticommunism, Black Power, and the Invisible
Jewish Left
April Rosenblum (York University)
Souls in Dialogue: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Jewish Question
Reconsidered
Asaf Angermann (University of Louisville)
Stefan Wolpe as Jew and Zionist
Barry Wiener (Independent Scholar)
Women of the Wall and the Ironies of Liberal Zionism: Leo Strauss
and the Paradox of Jewish Politics
Daniel David May (Princeton University)

10:15-11:45

9.3 Aqua 307 (3rd Floor)
JEWISH BODIES AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY: SEXUALITY,
GENDER, NATIONALISM
Chair and Respondent: David Shneer (University of Colorado Boulder)
The German Cultural Zionist Ideology of Youthfulness: A Gender
Analysis
Rose Stair (University of Oxford)
A Prototype of the Psychopathic Israelite: The Medicalization of the
Wandering Jew at the Turn of the Century
Joel Howard Swanson (The University of Chicago)
Bringing Out Marcel Proust: Jews and Other Inverts in À la
Recherche du Temps Perdus
Evan Goldstein (Yale University)

9.4 Aqua 309 (3rd Floor)
RETHINKING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE POLITICAL: NEW
PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN JEWISH LIBERALISM
Chair: Noam F. Pianko (University of Washington)
American Jews, Philanthropy, and the State
Lila Corwin Berman (Temple University)
Blind(ing) Justice: American Jews, Law, and Hate Speech
James Loeffler (University of Virginia)
Slippery Religion: American Jews and the Politics of Church-State
Separation
Ronit Stahl (University of California, Berkeley)
Respondent: Lily Geismer (Claremont McKenna University)

9.12 Aqua Salon AB (3rd Floor)
MAIMONIDES IN LIFE AND MEMORY BETWEEN JUDAISM AND
ISLAM
Chair: Lenn E. Goodman (Vanderbilt University)
Did Maymūn ha-Dayyan Have a Hebrew Name?
Arnold Franklin (Queens College, CUNY)
Maimonides in His Workshop: A View from the Commentary on the
Mishnah
Marc Daniel Herman (Yale University)
Respondent: Lawrence Kaplan (McGill University)

 

9.13 Aqua Salon C (3rd Floor)

JEWISH ENVIRONMENTALISM: SCHOLARSHIP, FAITH, AND
ACTIVISM
Chair: Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (Arizona State University)
The Bible Made Us Do It? Genesis 1:28, Francis Bacon, and the
Environmental Crisis
Martin D. Yaffe (University of North Texas)
A Distinct Jewish Environmental Movement? Ethical
Considerations
Tanhum Yoreh (University of Toronto)
“Farming for a Better Future”: Jewish Farmers in Southern New
Jersey Take on Climate Change
Adrienne M. Krone (Allegheny College)
Respondent: David Mevorach Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

9.17 Sapphire Ballroom OP (4th Floor)
SHIʿA AND JEWISH LEGAL REASONING IN DIALOGUE
Chairs: Beth A. Berkowitz (Barnard College)
Noam Hoffmann (Tel Aviv University and Ono Academic
College)
Discussants: Suzanne Last Stone (Yeshiva University)
Sergey Dolgopolski (The University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Elias Sacks (University of Colorado Boulder)
Seyed Amir Asghari (Indiana University Bloomington)
Sarah Wolf (The Jewish Theological Seminary)
Chaya Halberstam (King’s University College, University
of Western Ontario)
Cameron Zargar (University of Exeter)
Ezra David Tzfadya (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Erlangen-Nürnberg)

1:30-3:00

10.2 Aqua 303 (3rd Floor)
SITUATING OBLIGATION: MATERNITY, FEMINISM, AND MODERN
JEWISH THOUGHT
Chair: Sarit Kattan Gribetz (Fordham University)
Present Asymmetries and Future Uncertainties: Setting the Maternal
Relationship in Time
Fannie Bialek (Washington University in Saint Louis)
Philosophizing from the Margins, and from the Margins of the
Margins: Between Jewish Philosophy, the Feminist Critique of
Judaism, and Jewish Feminist Thought
Shira Billet (Princeton University)
God the Master, God the Parent: On Asymmetrical Conceptions of the
Divine-Human Relationship
Robert A. Erlewine (Illinois Wesleyan University)
Respondent: Mara Benjamin (Mt. Holyoke College)

10.4 Aqua 309 (3rd Floor)
PATTERNS OF NORMATIVITY IN RABBINIC LITERATURE AND
CULTURE
Chair: Eliezer Sariel (Ohalo College)
What’s the Opposite of Aggadah? (Hint: It’s Not Halakhah)
Mira Beth Wasserman (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College)
Household and Halakhah
Deena Aranoff (Graduate Theological Union)
Halakhic Revolutions following an Encounter with the Other
Irit Offer Stark (Shalom Hartman Institute and New York University)

10.9 Sapphire 410A (4th Floor)
WRITING THE THIRD-GENERATION SELF
Moderator: Victoria Aarons (Trinity University)
Discussants: Denise C. Grollmus (University of Washington)
Golan Y. Moskowitz (University of Toronto)
Katka Reszke (Author/Independent Scholar)
Lara Silberklang (Brandeis University)
David Slucki (College of Charleston)

10.17 Sapphire Ballroom KL (4th Floor)
WONDER AND THE SUPERNATURAL IN MEDIEVAL AND EARLY
MODERN JEWISH CULTURE
Chair: Francesca Bregoli (Queens College and the Graduate Center,
CUNY)
“Some Jews Said This Fish Was a Jewish Fish”: Animality,
Temporality, and Materiality in a Medieval Interreligious
Encounter
David I. Shyovitz (Northwestern University)
Halakhah Enchanted: The Rationalization of Wonder in Early
Modern Jewish Culture
Maoz Kahana (Tel Aviv University)
Jews in the Medicinal Mummy Trade
Matt Goldish (The Ohio State University)

3:15-4:45

11.2 Aqua 303 (3rd Floor)
EXILE IN THE MODERN JEWISH IMAGINATION
Moderator: Sergey Dolgopolski (The University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Discussants: Sarah Esther Hammerschlag (The University of Chicago)
Jessica M. Marglin (University of Southern California)
Ethan Pack (University of California, Los Angeles)
Elias Sacks (University of Colorado Boulder)

11.10 Sapphire 400AB (4th Floor)
WORKS-IN-PROGRESS
Chair: Jason Lustig (Harvard University)
A Modern Peshat: Returning Jews to the Bible—and to the German
Body Politic
Alexandra Zirkle (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Breastfeeding and Wage-Worthiness
Pratima Gopalakrishnan (Yale University)
11.11 Aqua Salon AB (3rd Floor)
NEW FRAMES AND JEWISH THOUGHT AND PHILOSOPHY
Moderator: Daniel Herskowitz (University of Oxford)
Discussants: Mara Benjamin (Mt. Holyoke College)
Zachary J. Braiterman (Syracuse University)
Ken Koltun-Fromm (Haverford College)
Akiba J. Jeremiah Lerner (Santa Clara University)
Claire Sufrin (Northwestern University)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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