2016-17 Events

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Justice: An Exploration of JUSTICE in Jewish Thought and Tradition

Jewish Thought Community Lecture Series

The Exploration lectures, delivered by Department of Jewish Thought faculty, focus on a new theme each year. The 2017-18 theme is "Justice." The events are free and open to the community. 

JCC Benderson Family Building, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville

Flyer for all of the "Justice: An Exploration of Justice in Jewish Thought and Tradition" events.

Speakers: Richard Cohen (Oct. 20); Noam Pines (Nov. 20); Marla Segol (March 7); Alex Green (April 3); Sergey Dolgopolski (May 17)

Flyer for the "Justice: An Exploration of Justice in Jewish Thought and Tradition" event.

Speaker: Sergey Dolgopolski
May 17, 2017 7-8:30pm
JCC Benderson Family Building
 

Flyer for the "Modern Judaism and its Significance for Chinese Culture" event.

Modern Judaism and Its Significance for Chinese Culture

Speaker: Youde Fu
Date: May 9, 2017
Time: 3:30-5:30pm
Location: Samuel Friedman Library, 7th Floor, Clemens Hall

 

Jews and Melancholia International Symposium a Success!

March 30-31, 2017
Samuel Friedman Library, 708 Clemens Hall

The connection between Jews and melancholia is a long-standing one in Western thought and culture, and is grounded in religious, medical, astrological, artistic, literary, and philosophical traditions that extend all the way to antiquity. The association begins in late Roman antiquity, when the Jewish Sabbath was identified with the worship of Saturn, the planet of melancholics; it continues throughout the Middle Ages and early modern times, when melancholia was linked in the Christian imagination with the Jewish cannibalistic lust for Christian blood; and culminates in such twentieth century Jewish figures as Walter Benjamin and S. Y. Agnon, who identified their Judaism, or certain forms of modern Jewish mentality, with a melancholic disposition. What is at stake, then, in the notion of melancholia, and why is it frequently associated with Jews and Jewish identity? The symposium will present an opportunity to think about these questions and discuss them in an interdisciplinary academic forum. The purpose of the symposium is to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue on melancholia—while drawing on classical, medieval, and modern notions—not only by charting the specific relation of such notions to Jews, but also by identifying how they came to influence certain artistic, theological, and literary practices.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Jewish Thought, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Humanities Institute, The Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture, and by Ewa Ziarek, Julian Park Professor of Comparative Literature.

Jews and Melancholia Speakers.

Jews and Melancholia Speakers
Left to right: Irven Resnick, Vivian Liska, Nitzan Lebovic, Sergey Dolgopolski, Noam Pines (Organizer), Ann Golomp Hoffman

"Jews and Melancholia" Poster.

Topics and Speakers

  • Are Jews Melancholic Acedia in Rabbinic (In)action – by Sergey Dolgopolski (Jewish Thought, University at Buffalo)
  • Freud and Agnon Melancholy Objects, Language, Identifications – by Anne Golomb Hoffman (English, Fordham University)
  • Left-Wing Melancholy in Early Hebrew Literature – by Nitzan Lebovic (History, Lehigh University)
  • Demonic Melancholy. Reading Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin Today – by Vivian Liska (German Literature, University of Antwerp)
  • The Portrait of the Jew as a Saturnian Cannibal – by Noam Pines (Jewish Thought, SUNY at Buffalo)
  • The Melancholy Jew Humoral Theory in medieval Jewish and Christian Polemics – by Irven Resnick (Philosophy and Religion, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)

Symposium Program

Jews and Melancholia International Symposium

March 30, 708 Clemens Hall

9:00 am – 9:30 am
Reception

Session I

9:30 am – 10:50
Irven Resnick (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) 
The Melancholy Jew: Humoral Theory in Medieval Jewish and Christian Polemics

11:00 am – 12:20 pm
Sergey Dolgopolski (SUNY at Buffalo) 
Are “Jews” Melancholic? Acedia in Rabbinic (In)action

12:30 - 2 pm
Lunch break

Session II

2 pm – 3:20 pm
Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp) 
Demonic Melancholy. Reading Gershom Scholem and Walter Benjamin Today

3:30 pm – 4:50 pm
Noam Pines (SUNY at Buffalo) 
The Portrait of the Jew as a Saturnian Cannibal

March 31, 708 Clemens Hall

Session III

9:00-10:20am
Anne Golomb Hoffman (Fordham University)
Freud and Agnon: Melancholy Objects, Language, Identifications

10:30 am-11:50 am
Nitzan Lebovic (Lehigh University)
Left-Wing Melancholy in Early Hebrew Literature

12:00 pm – 1 pm
Conclusion and Roundtable Discussion

1 pm - Lunch

Flyer for the "Returns from the Folger" event.

Returns from the Folger: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of UB's Membership in the Folger Institute

Date: April 20, 2017
Time: 11am-5pm
Location: 420 Capen Hall, The UB Poetry Collection

 

 

Flyer for the "Singapore's Baghdadi Community" event.

Singapore's Baghdadi Community from 1795-2017: Setting a Standard for Jewish Identity in East and Southeast Asia

Speaker: Jonathan Goldstein
Date: March 30, 2017
Time: 12-1pm
Location: 280 Park Hall