CFP - Circulating Jews: Mobility, Cultural Transmission, and Representation in Judaic Studies

The Judaic Studies Graduate Program of Yale University is now accepting paper proposals for an Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference:

Circulating Jews: Mobility, Cultural Transmission, and Representation in Judaic Studies
Sunday, Nov 4, 2012
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Since biblical times, Judaism has been enacted and created across geographical and conceptual space. Modern scholarship has begun to understand Jewishness, Judaism and Jews as dynamic entities, moving away from settled notions of stability, insularity and "influence". Throughout all periods of Jewish history, the experience of cultural and physical movement has defined what Jews have thought about themselves, their traditions, and the worlds in which they were located. Motion, movement and the transmission of ideas, people and images have been central to Jewish life and cultural production.

This conference, therefore, engages the movement of Jewish peoples and ideas, both Jewish ideas and ideas about Jews. We invite papers from graduate students that explore aspects of mobility in the biblical, ancient, medieval and modern periods.
The keynote speaker for the conference is Marina Rustow, Charlotte Bloomberg Associate Professor in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

Suggested topics include:
In what ways has Jewish mobility been circumscribed? In what ways has it been fostered? By whom?
How has awareness of geographic difference and mobility affected the development of Jewish law?
How do language and translation function in and as mobility across cultural boundaries and transitions?
How have ideas about Jews and Judaism been disseminated in majority cultures? How have Jews responded to these conceptualizations?
How have Jewish and non-Jewish ideas been communicated across cultural boundaries?
How has Jewishness been shaped by diaspora? How has the diaspora constructed and been constructed by Jewish movement?
How should we understand the role of messengers and travel within the Jewish world?
How has pilgrimage been instantiated, controlled and subverted?
How should we understand the motion of ideas between Jewish rabbis and thinkers within different parts of the Diaspora, and between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel, and in modern times, the State of Israel?
How has Jewish mobility itself been constructed in modern thought, culture and scholarship?

Please submit paper titles and abstracts (750 words or less) to
Please include name, institutional and departmental affiliation, as well as a contact email address.

All proposals will receive a response by mid-May, 2012

The three most exceptional abstracts will be awarded a $150 travel stipend to facilitate attendance.

Avenues for publication are being explored.

4 November 2012