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Virtual: ‘The Future of German Jewish Studies’

April 11, 2021 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies on April 11 at 2:00 p.m. for a book launch for the Moments of Enlightenment conference publication. Register here to receive the Zoom link. 

Focusing on two new volumes published in honor of Jonathan Hess, this panel discussion poses broad questions about the content and future of this elusive field of inquiry. Dismissed by some as a boutique enterprise dedicated to largely secularised German Jews whose time of flourishing lies in the rather distant past, German Jewish Studies emerges in these new publications in quite a different light. In the spirit of Jonathan Hess, the contributors present us with essays that span disciplinary boundaries to include Yiddish studies, Holocaust studies, medieval studies, translation studies, theater studies, as well as important insights from history, political science, philology, and more. In other words, German Jewish Studies presents itself here not as a moribund, antiquarian undertaking, but rather as an exemplary Knotenpunkt for cross-disciplinary discussion in the humanities. Participants will be asked to reflect on how their own work–and that of others presented in these volumes–potentially models new directions in cooperative humanities projects.

The Center co-organized, in collaboration with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, a symposium honoring Jonathan M. Hess and his work. The symposium captured the breadth and depth of his scholarship and teaching under the title: “Moments of Enlightenment: German Jewish Interactions from the 18th Century to the Present” and it took place in Chapel Hill, April 13-15, 2019. This three-day conference brought together colleagues and collaborators, as well as former students, of Jonathan Hess. Learn more about the conference.