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Faculty News: Fall 2014

BorowskiODED BOROWSKI’s latest book Lahav III:  Tell Halif; Site 72 Cemetery was published in fall 2013 by Eisenbrauns. His chapter “Agriculture” appeared in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology, edited by Avraham Faust and published by Oxford University Press. He presented the paper “In the Footsteps of Sennacherib:  Excavations at Tell Halif,” to the Biblical Archaeology Society of Pittsburgh in September, and, with Seung Ho Bang, the paper “Local Production of Small Rectangular Limestone Incense Altars at Tell Half, Their Iconographic Consideration,” at the ASOR annual meeting in Baltimore in November. He was the host of the 2014 Tenenbaum Lecture by William G. Dever and the honoree of the symposium “Eighth Century Judah and its Cultural Context,” (see related story link). He directed another successful field season at Tell Halif during summer 2014.

DanaCATHERINE DANA was on leave during spring 2014 with a grant from the University Research Committee. She was awarded an artist’s residency at Ledig House, the writers’ retreat of the Omi International Arts Center in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and used the time there to continue work on her third novel, All Kinds of Jews, her first in English. In addition to numerous university service responsibilities, she continues to serve as Présidente du jury de Textes en paroles, a Guadeloupian association with the mission of evaluating and staging original plays from the West Indies.

GildersWILLIAM GILDERS served on the Graduate Committee for TIJS during 2013-14. His article “Ancient Israelite Sacrifice as Symbolic Action: Theoretical Reflections” appeared in Svensk Exegetisk Arsbok (78, 2013), an expanded version of a paper he presented by invitation at the 2012 “Exegetical Day” of the Swedish Exegetical Society in Uppsala, Sweden. Two of his chapters, “Priestly Law” and “Purity,” are being published in Brent Strawn (Ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law. He presented the paper “Sukkot:  From Field Shelters to Ritual Dwellings, From Harvest Festival to Heilsgeschichte” to the Society of Biblical Literature Annual International Meeting in St. Andrews, Scotland in July 2013.

GoldHAZEL GOLD served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for TIJS during 2013-14. Her article “The Spanish Language Boom:  Not Holding Our Tongues” is forthcoming in ADFL Bulletin 43.2. She presented the paper “Abriendo puertas: la crisis de la hospitalidad en la novelistica galdosiana” at the X Congreso Galdosiano Internacional at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain in June 2013; the paper “Morar en el ‘palacio de la verdad’: narrativa española decimonónica de cara a la fotografia” at the XVIII Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas at Buenos Aires in July 2013; the paper “Spain’s ‘Jewish Question’: National Identity Between Politics and Cultural Memory Work” at the 21st International Conference of Europeanists at Washington, DC, in March; and the paper “Valera’s Jews” at the Kentucky Foreign Languages Conference in Lexington in April. She continues as Vice President of both the Iberoamerican Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (IASECS) and the Sociedad de Literatura Española del Siglo XIX, and she completed her long service as Chief Reader for the Advanced Placement Spanish Literature exam.

GoldsteinERIC GOLDSTEIN continues to serve as Judith London Evans Director of TIJS. His chapter “The Struggle Over Yiddish in Postimmigrant America” appeared in the volume 1929: Mapping the Jewish World, edited by Hasia R. Diner and Gennady Estraikh. The book was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for 2014 in the anthologies category. He presented the paper “What American Jewish History Can Tell Us About the Jewish Future” at the World Religions Symposium at Furman University in November 2013, as well as three talks for a Scholar-in-Residence weekend at the Traditional Congregation in St. Louis. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, he organized and hosted the biennial Scholars’ Conference at Emory in June (see related story link).

HaryBENJAMIN HARY chaired the Blumenthal Award Committee for TIJS this past year. In October 2013, he organized the triannual conference of the Association Internationale du Moyen-Arabe (AIMA) that took place at Emory. His chapter, co-written with Martin J. Wein, “Peoples of the Book: Religion, Language, Nationalism, and Sacred Test Translation,” was accepted for the volume Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Cooperation and Conflict, edited by Sander Gilman. Among his many presentations were the paper “Language and Politics: The Use of Arabic among Arabs and Jews in Israel,” to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid in May 2013; the paper “Jewish Languages: State of an Emerging Field,” at the Associations for Jewish Studies in Boston in December; the paper “Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew as Languages in Contact – Some Theoretical Observations,” at the University of Haifa in December; the paper “Is Judeo-Arabic a Semitic Language Variety?,” at the North American Conference on AfroAsiatic Linguistics at Leiden University in the Netherlands; the paper “Bible Translations in the Arab Jewish World: Saadia’s Tafsīr and Cairene Judeo-Arabic Šurūh,” at the University of Chicago in March; and the paper “Bible Translations in the Arab Jewish World” at the Symposium on Translation and the Turn to the Bible in German Jewish Culture at New York University in September.

LesserJEFFREY LESSER continues as chair of the Department of History. Along with Raanan Rein of Tel Aviv University, he organized the workshop “Rethinking Sport in the Americas,” with cosponsorship from the Judith London Evans Directorship in TIJS among many other units. His chapter “When the Local Trumps the Global: The Jewish World of São Paulo,” appeared in the book Mapping the Jewish World, edited by Hasia Diner and Gennady Estraikh. The book won the 2013 National Jewish Book Award for anthology.

LipstadtDEBORAH LIPSTADT was on leave during 2013-14 as a fellow of the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory, working on a book about the word “Holocaust” and how American popular and scholarly culture have commemorated and studied it. Among her many presentations during the year were the paper “Between Tradition and Modernity: The Contribution of Debbie Friedman’s Music to Changes in the Reform Movements Worship Service” at the Association for Jewish Studies annual meeting in Boston in December; the paper “Holocaust Denial: Flat Earth Theory or a Clear and Present Danger” at the Cambridge University Research Seminar on Conspiracy Theory and Democracy in May; and the talk “Genocide Denial: the Holocaust and the Genocide of the Tutsis – a Comparative Analysis” at the Kigali International Forum on Genocide in Rwanda in April (see her report at link). She continues in her advisory roles at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, serving on the Executive Committee and the Academic Committee, and chairing the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.

SchainkerELLIE SCHAINKER served on the Undergraduate Committee for TIJS during 2013-14. In June 2013 she presented the paper “A View of the Confessional State from Below: Converts from Judaism and Confessional Choice in Nineteenth-Century Imperial Russia,” at the conference Jews and Muslims in the Tsarist Empire and the Soviet Union at the Historisches Kolleg/FMU in Munich. Her paper “The Politics of Religious Intimidation: Conversion and Jewish Violence in Late-Imperial Russia” was presented to the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia in October, and she organized and participated in the panel “At Home in Eastern Europe: The Polish and Russian Turns in Jewish History” at the Association of Jewish Studies in Boston in December. She is finishing her first book manuscript, Confessions of the Shtetl:Converts from Judaism and the Construction of Jewish Community in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906 and will be on leave during 2014-15 with a grant from the University Research Committee to continue work on her second project.

SeemanDON SEEMAN was on leave during 2013-14 researching his project “Ethnography of Everyday Transcendence in Habad/Lubavitch,” with grant support from the Social Science Research Council and the Mind and Life Institute. His article “Maimonides and Friendship” appeared in the Jewish Studies Online Journal, an experimental open-access peer-reviewed journal housed at Bar Ilan University. His chapter “Circumcision: The Sign of the Covenant in Judaism” was published in Religion and Public Health edited by Ellen Idler. He presented the paper “Kinship as Ethical Relation” at the conference The Sacred Social: Spiritual Kinship in the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Virginia in March; and the paper “Coffee and the Moral Order: Ethiopian Jews and Pentecostals against Culture” at a faculty seminar in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in May.

SteinKEN STEIN continues as director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and, as such, mentored a number of undergraduate students researching various aspects of Israeli history. His e-book History, Politics, and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Source Document Reader for College Courses and Adult Education appeared in summer 2013 on the Center for Israel Education website at His chapter “Evolving a Diplomatic Legacy from the October War: The US, Egyptian, and Israeli Triangle” was published in The October 1973 War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Legacy edited by Asaf Siniver. With Richard Walter, he researched, prepared and published over 250 daily entries for the website “This Day in Israeli History,” also a downloadable smart phone app available from the ISMI website He delivered the talk “Decision-Making and Counter-factualism in Arab-Israeli Negotiations: What if the Arabs had not boycotted Zionism before the State?” at the Association for Jewish Studies annual conference in Boston in December, as well as a number of talks at the Annual Limmud Conference in New York in February, and at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and AIPAC in March.

UdelMIRIAM UDEL taught a well-attended Yiddish culture course during fall 2013 that included a conversation between her students and author Myla Goldberg about her novel Bee Season. On leave during spring 2014, Udel held one of six inaugural translation fellowships at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. She revised the manuscript for her first book, on the Jewish picaresque, and disseminated work from that project in the form of an article, “Demobilized Soldiers, Demobilized Jews” (forthcoming in the journal Polin) and a paper, “Living Serially: Neoteny and the Polit,” delivered at the Association for Jewish Studies at Boston in December. During her leave, she launched a second project, on Yiddish children’s literature, with the talk “Shabbos for Socialists: The Sabbath Motif in Yiddish Children’s Literature” at the Columbia University Series in Jewish Studies in March. She also completed an article “The Second Soul of the People: Secular Sabbatism in Yiddish Children’s Literature,” to appear in Jewish Social Studies. During the summer, she taught “The History of Modern Jewish Literature,” a mini-course for students of the Steiner Summer Program at the National Yiddish Book Center.

YeglinOFRA YEGLIN was on leave during spring 2014. In November, she presented the talk “Legislation of Women’s Issues in Israel” and participated in a conversation with Israeli Kneset member Dr. Aliza Lavie, as part of the conference Israel Up Close at the Emory Law School.


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