BAJS Annual Conference 2011: ‘Jewish Languages’

This year's conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies (BAJS) will be devoted to Jewish Languages and will be held at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies:

"Covering three thousand years of history, and settlements spread across the entire world, Jewish Studies offers both opportunities and challenges in terms of the range of languages and discourses relevant to the field. Participants are invited to present papers on languages spoken or written by Jews, and on modes of discourse as they relate to Jewish Studies, for instance in the realms of religion, politics, aesthetics, music, philosophy, and more."

See the program below or visit this link for more information:

TUESDAY 19th July, OCHJS, Yarnton Manor

11 a.m. onwards: Registration

12.30 p.m. Lunch

1.30-3 p.m. Committee Meeting

Session A: 3.00-4.30

Language teaching panel:

The teaching of ‘Jewish languages’ in Higer Education: problems and prospects: Khayke Beruriah Wiegand, Laliv Clenman and Steve Herring

Session B: 3.00-4.30

Religious discourse

3.00 Eric Jacobson, Roehampton: “p.s. post scriptum: Matan Torah and the language of identity”

3.30 Miri Freud-Kandel, Oxford: The Language of Theology in Judaism

4.00 Raymond Cohen, Hebrew University, “Cross-cultural differences in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue”

4.30 Tea

Session A: 5-7 p.m.

Second Temple and early Rabbinic Judaism:

5.00 Charlotte Hempel, Birmingham: “Unruly rules: Qumran and the discourse of regulation”

5.30 Read Marlatte, Oxford: “Second Temple Cultic Discourse and the Conceptual Theory of Metaphor”

6.00 Sacha Stern, UCL: “Participation of Jewish aristocracies in pagan cults in Roman Galilee”.

6.30 Norman Solomon, Oxford “The General and the Particular: on the terminology of rabbinic inference”

Session B: 5-7 p.m.


5.00 Geoffrey Khan, Cambridge: “Judaeo-Arabic: a brief survey of the current state of research”

5.30 Nadia Vidro, Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit: “The Hebrew linguistic terminology of Karaite grammatical texts and its Judaeo-Arabic origins”

6.00 Gregor Schwarb, Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität, Berlin: “Karaite-Samaritan Relations in 5th/11th Century Bilād al-Shām: Encounters, Polemics, and Intertextualities”

6.30 Ronny Vollandt, Cambridge: “Christian Arabic sources for the study of Saadiah Gaon’s translation and commentary on the Pentateuch”

7.00 Conference Dinner

8.30-9.30 p.m. Plenary session (tbc)

Wednesday 20th July

 (Joint SOTS/BAJS at St Hilda’s College, 9.15 a.m.-9.30 p.m.)

9.15 a.m. Willem Smelik (UCL) ‘Moses, Dead or Alive’

10 a.m. Tessa Rajak (Reading and Oxford) ‘(In)vestment in/of the Priesthood in the Second Temple and Beyond’

10.45 Coffee

11.15 Gill Greenberg (UCL) ‘Minuses in the Peshitta to Isaiah and Jeremiah’

12 noon Panel discussion: The Interaction between Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible Scholarship — Jim Aitken, Sandra Jacobs, Joanna Weinberg, Hugh Williamson, chaired by Sarah Pearce

1 p.m. Lunch

2 p.m. Visit to the Bodleian Library with Julian Reid (Corpus Christi, Oxford), and a talk by Piet van Boxel (Oxford), ‘Hebrew Manuscripts in their geographical and cultural setting’

4.30 p.m. Tea

6.45 p.m. Dinner

8.15 p.m. Tamara Eskenazi (HUC/Jewish Institute of Religion, LA) ‘Cutting Corners and Gleaning Rewards: Re-reading Ruth’

Wednesday 20th July:

Parallel BAJS-only sessions at Yarnton Manor

Session A: 9.30-11 a.m.

Anglophone Jewish Literature panel:

9.30 David Brauner, Reading: “Jewish Mothers & Jewish Memory in the Non-Fiction of Jenny Diski, Eva Figes and Linda Grant”

10.00 Axel Stähler, University of Kent, Canterbury. “Anglophone Jewish Literature: Traditions – Traits – Trajectories”

10.30 Nadia Valman, Queen Mary, University of London. “Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Jewish literature and European modernity”

Session B: 9.30-11 a.m.

Jewish languages

9.30            Nicholas de Lange “Is there such a language as Judaeo-Greek?”

10.00            Julia Krivoruchko, “Kabbalistic Aramaic In Greco-Italian Garb?”

10.30            Holger Zellentin, Nottingham: “Christian Aramaic and Jewish language”

11.00 Coffee

Session A: 11.30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Philosophy of language

11.30 Rosa Reicher, Department of Educational Science, University of Heidelberg, “Gershom Scholem’s Understanding of Language as a ‘Bildung’ Paradigm”

12.00 Agata Bielik-Robson, Nottingham. “Philosophical Marranos. Cohen, Rosenzweig, Benjamin, and Derrida on the ‘Third Language’ of Jewish Philosophy”

12.30 Hannah Holtschneider, Edinburgh, “Are we talking Jewish? Reflections on the representation of Jewish history in the museum”

Session B: 11.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m.

Jewish languages

11.30 Laurent Mignon, Ankara/Oxford: “« La lengua ke se avla aki » : Judeo-Turkish”

12.00 Aron Sterk: “Revisiting Blondheim: Judeo-Latin or Latinophone Jews in Antiquity?”

12.30 Yehudit Henshke, Haifa: “Judeo-Arabic influences on Modern Hebrew”

Lunch 1 p.m.

Session A: 2.30-4 p.m.


2.30 Pnina Rosenberg, Haifa, “Estranged Life: the life of immigrant Jews in interwar Paris as reflected in the oeuvres of Yosl Cukier”

3.00 Khayke Beruriah Wiegand, Oxford: “The Yiddish Bashevis and His American Construct I.B. Singer : Questions of Language, Register, Translation and Betrayal”

3.30 Gerben Zaagsma, UCL:“The Yiddish press as a source in historical research”

Session B: 2.30-4 p.m.

Film panel

2.30 Nathan Abrams, Bangor, ‘“A double set of glasses”: Stanley Kubrick’s Midrashic “Film Language”’

3.00 Gerwyn Owen, Bangor: ‘Stereotypes Speak: The Visual Imagery of Film as Language’

3.30 Jenni Steele, Bangor: ‘Un-weaving and Unwrapping Fabric in The Governess: Fabric as Film Language’

4.00 Tea

Session A: 4.30–5.00 p.m.

Modern Jewish literature

4.30 Mike Witcombe, Southampton, “Rewriting the shiksa in Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock

5.00 Cathy Gelbin, Manchester, “In search of the cosmopolitan Jewish city: fictional narratives of contemporary Tel Aviv”

Session B: 4.30–5.30 p.m.

Jewish languages

4.30 Corinna R. Kaiser: ‘God Speaks German’: Jewish Contributions to German Language Scepticism around 1900”.

5.00 Lily Kahn, UCL  “Biblical Grammatical Elements in the Nineteenth-Century Hasidic Hebrew Tale”

6.00 Wine reception  for launch of website project of teaching resources on Jewish-non-Jewish relations, hosted by Hannah Holtschneider and Maria Diemling

7.00 Dinner

Thursday 21st July

9.00 a.m. Annual General Meeting of BAJS members

Session A: 10.15–11.15 a.m.

Legal discourse

10.15 Sandra Jacobs, Deuteronomy 21:10-14: “The Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation or the Language of Caprice?”

10.45 Laliv Clenman, Leo Baeck College and KCL: “Language, Narrative and Law in Talmudic Discourse”

Session B: 10.15–11.15 a.m.

Jewish languages

10.15 Ora Schwarzfeld, “Proper names, toponyms and gentilic nouns in Bible translations: medieval Spanish and post-exilic Ladino translations compared”.

10.45 Geoffrey Khan, Cambridge: “Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects: a brief survey of the current state of research”

11.15 Coffee

Single session: 11.45 a.m.-12.45 p.m.

Medieval Hebrew

11.45 Yehoshua Granat, “Scriptural authority and the medieval author: Re-creating the story of Jonah in Hebrew liturgical poetry, and beyond”

12.15 Ilana Wartenberg, UCL: “Bilingualism in medieval Hebrew scientific texts”

12.45 President’s concluding remarks

1.00 Lunch and departure


19 July 2011 - 21 July 2011