Cornell University

Making Space: Peopling and Placing the Matter of Jewish Studies

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 9:30am to 12:00pm

Mann Library, 102
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

This graduate-organized conference features student research that contributes to interdisciplinary approaches to Jewish studies through the making of space for new ways of addressing history and giving voice to marginalized and minoritized identities and experiences. Topics and subfields include critical historiographies of Jewish collectivities in predominantly non-Jewish milieus, ethnography of non-majority Jewish experiences within broader Jewish spheres, cultural geography at the intersection of public and private/domestic spheres, material culture studies and economies of production, media studies, and gender and feminist studies.

Open to Cornell Univeristy faculty, staff and students. Registration is requried to attend this in-person conference. 

Register to attend (required)


Monday, April 15
9:00–9:30 am: Welcome coffee
9:30–9:45 am: Introductory remarks
9:45–11:15 am: Session 1: Peopling the World of Print

Chair Prof. Jason Mokhtarian (Cornell University)

  • Luca Abbatista (Columbia University), “Isacco Krachmalnicoff and the Distribution of Tauchnitz Editions under Fascism”
  • Rachel Cilia-Werdmölder (Cornell University), “Women of the bookshop? Jewish women in print in early modern Amsterdam”
  • Nathan Lucky (Clark University), “Passing in Print: (Non) Jewish News in the Mainstream Press during the Holocaust”

11:45 am–1:15 pm: Session 2: Archival Remediations

Chair Prof. Mayer Juni (Cornell University)

  • Alexander Seth van Biema (Cornell University), “Archipelagic Afro-Jewish Survivance and its Diasporic Discontents in Michelle Cliff’s Novel Free Enterprise (1993)”
  • Joseph Weisberg (Brandeis University), “A Member of the Tribe? Dr. Jacob De la Motta, His Estate, and a Slave-Supporting Jewish Kinship Network in Antebellum Charleston”
  • Jacob Rosewater (Cornell University), “Jewish Immigration and Textile Firm Clustering in New York City: Exploring the Possibility of a Causal Link”

1:15–2:45 pm: Lunch

2:45–4:15 pm: Session 3: Spatial Imaginaries of Absence and Presence 

Chair Re’ee Hagay, PhD Candidate in Near Eastern Studies

  • Chaya Sara Oppenheim (University of Pennsylvania), “Cemetery Tourism Among American Ultra-Orthodox Jewry in the 21st Century”
  • Jaimie Luria (Cornell University), “Pools Wet and Dry: Mikveh Ethnography and Jewish Heritage Flows”
  • Sasha Marie Ward (University of Washington), “A History of Absence: Situating Turkey’s Dönme in Crypto-Jewish Historiography”

5:00–6:30 pm: Keynote lecture: Prof. Federica Francesconi (SUNY at Albany), “Marginalities, Silences, and Anxieties in Jewish Studies” OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Tuesday, April 16

9:30–10:00 am: Welcome coffee
10:00 am–11:30 am: Session 4: Crafting Identity Across Space and Time

Chair Prof. Nechama Juni (Cornell University)

  • Débora Kantor (University of Buenos Aires), “Promised lands: Israel in Argentine non-fiction contemporary film” [remote]
  • Elyakim Suissa (University of Washington), “Glimpsing the Divine Through the Mundane: Religious and Legal Practical Literature in the Ottoman Sixteenth Century”
  • Xinyi Chen (University of Cambridge), “Redefining Israeliness? The Mizrahi-Palestinian Encounter in the Hebrew-Arabic journal MIFGASH-LIQA’”

11:30-11:45 pm: Closing remarks
12:00 pm: Farewell lunch

This graduate conference is co-sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program, Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, Department of Anthropology, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Department of Romance Studies, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS),  Religious Studies Program, and The Society for the Humanities.

Additional support generously provided by the Drukier Family Fund.

Register to attend (required)

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