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Seminar 04 - Narratives of Jewish Migration

ACADEMIC PROGRAM - SEMINAR OVERVIEW

Week 1 + 2: Cheryl Lester and Philip Barnard (Uiversity of Kansas, USA)

This seminar explores aspects of the evolution of narratives of Jewish migration, from the founding narrative of exodus in Biblical and rabbinic literature to narratives of migration in literary-historical texts from the 18th to the 20th century and beyond. Thus “narrative” (along with related concepts of tradition and cultural transmission) and “migration” become basic keywords and concepts to be viewed analytically, historicized, and periodized. We consider how “narrative,” “migration,” and Jewish identity are interrelated and figure in contemporary debates about Jewish peoplehood. Our texts address the dynamic between religious and secular narratives of migration, on one hand, and the precarious stability and security of Jewish identities. The seminar’s readings, both sacred (Exodus, the Passover Haggadah), literary (Brockden Brown, Anya Yezierska, Joseph Roth, Philip Roth, etc.) and critical (Amery, Boyarin, Brinkmann, etc.) enable us to examine the construction and transformation(s) of Jewish narratives of migration and Jewish identity and trace out the vicissitudes of stability, security, and happiness in sacred and secular literature.

Cheryl Lester 

chlester(at)ku.edu 

Short CV: >> here <<

Philip Barnard

philipb(at)ku.edu

Short CV: >> here <<


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