Category Archives: Academic

The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British-Jewish Culture

Utopia and Dystopia Conference July 2015

Utopia and Dystopia Conference ImageThe Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary

British-Jewish Culture

One-Day Conference, Thursday 23 July

Open University Regional Centre, Camden, London

The conference is hosted and funded by the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group of the Open University, with additional support from the British Jewish Contemporary Culture research network, Bangor University and the University of Winchester.

Judaism can be seen as a utopian religion: the Promised Land will be an ideal place and the messiah will bring about an ideal world. Read as literature, the Bible offers one of the principal sources of utopian thought in Britain and the Western World. Judaic utopianism has become British through the cultural practice of imagining Jerusalem in these isles. It is such a conjunction of Jewish and British cultural utopias, in contemporary British-Jewish culture, which this conference proposes to explore. Challenging utopia, there is also a British-Jewish imaginative paradigm of dystopia. This has existed, in particular, since the advent of modern European antisemitism with the Dreyfus Affair and continued in the wake of the Holocaust.

Topics addressed: utopias of assimilation, Zionism, modernism, liberalism, communism, aesthetics, domesticity and romance; dystopias of antisemitism, communism, Nazism, the Holocaust and contemporary Britain, and the overlap of these utopias and dystopias.

Keynote speaker: Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading).

Confirmed speakers: Nathan Abrams (Bangor University), Finn Fordham (Royal Holloway), Ruth Gilbert (University of Winchester), Peter Lawson (Open University), Axel Stähler (University of Kent) and Sue Vice (University of Sheffield).

The conference will be held on Thursday 23 July 2015 at the Open University London Regional Centre, Camden, and lunch will be provided. In keeping with the Open University’s founding commitment to social equality and accessible education, there will be no registration charge. It is planned to publish the proceedings.

Venue: Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP (9.30am start).

To book: one of the limited number of places, please register for the event no later than Tuesday 31 March 2015. Proposals (no more than 500 words) and a one-page CV should be sent to: britishjewishcontemporarycult@gmail.com. For further information, please contact the conference organiser: p.j.lawson@open.ac.uk

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The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British-Jewish Culture

One-Day Conference, Thursday 23 July

Open University Regional Centre, Camden, London

The conference is hosted and funded by the Postcolonial Literatures Research Group of the Open University, with additional support from the British Jewish Contemporary Culture research network, Bangor University and the University of Winchester.

Judaism can be seen as a utopian religion: the Promised Land will be an ideal place and the messiah will bring about an ideal world. Read as literature, the Bible offers one of the principal sources of utopian thought in Britain and the Western World. Judaic utopianism has become British through the cultural practice of imagining Jerusalem in these isles. It is such a conjunction of Jewish and British cultural utopias, in contemporary British-Jewish culture, which this conference proposes to explore. Challenging utopia, there is also a British-Jewish imaginative paradigm of dystopia. This has existed, in particular, since the advent of modern European antisemitism with the Dreyfus Affair and continued in the wake of the Holocaust.

Topics addressed: utopias of assimilation, Zionism, modernism, liberalism, communism, aesthetics, domesticity and romance; dystopias of antisemitism, communism, Nazism, the Holocaust and contemporary Britain, and the overlap of these utopias and dystopias.

Keynote speaker: Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading).

Confirmed speakers: Nathan Abrams (Bangor University), Finn Fordham (Royal Holloway), Ruth Gilbert (University of Winchester), James Jordan (University of Southampton), Peter Lawson (Open University), Axel Stähler (University of Kent) and Sue Vice (University of Sheffield).

The conference will be held on Thursday 23 July 2015 at the Open University London Regional Centre, Camden, and lunch will be provided. In keeping with the Open University’s founding commitment to social equality and accessible education, there will be no registration charge. It is planned to publish the proceedings.

Venue: Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP (9.30am start).

To book: one of the limited number of places, please register for the event as soon as possible (and no later than Tuesday 31 March 2015). Proposals (no more than 500 words) and a one-page CV should be sent in an email titled ‘The Promised Land Conference’ to: britishjewishcontemporarycult@gmail.com. For further information, please contact the conference organiser: p.j.lawson@open.ac.uk

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PhD

I am working on a study of Anglo-Jewish drama and in the coming years, as I find some new material about my topic in particular or about Anglo(British)-Jewish Literature in general, I will post it here or on the more informal site, J Lit from an Anglo Angle.  There is also a Twitter feed and Facebook page.  I am looking to interact with anyone with an interest in the field.

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Jewish Writers of The Twentieth Century

Jewish Writers of The Twentieth Century

 Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century is both a comprehensive reference resource and a springboard for further study.

This volume:

    • examines canonical Jewish writers, less well-known authors of Yiddish and Hebrew, and emerging Israeli writers
    • includes entries on figures as diverse as Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Tristan Tzara, Eugene Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, Nadine Gordimer, and Woody Allen
    • contains introductory essays on Jewish-American writing, Holocaust literature and memoirs, Yiddish writing, and Anglo-Jewish literature
    • provides a chronology of twentieth-century Jewish writers.

Compiled by expert contributors, this book contains over 330 entries on individual authors, each consisting of a biography, a list of selected publications, a scholarly essay on their work and suggestions for further reading.

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What Is a Jew?

From David Brauner in Post-War Jewish Fiction

For some Judaism is an innate, inalienable property, for others a learned tradition; for some, a belief system, for others a cultural construct; for some a race, for others a religion; for some a nationality, for others a sensibility; for some a historical legacy, for others a metaphysical state.

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Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain

A recording of the whole day of the conference at Birkbeck College, September 11, 2013.

http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2013/09/writing-jews-in-contemporary-britain/

Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain

The workshop’s emphasis is on new and innovative work being undertaken in the field and is intended to provide a forum for presenting and analysing the most recent critical and theoretical approaches to British-Jewish fiction, film, television drama and documentary.

Through the workshop we hope to explore, among other topics, the representation of ‘hyphenated’ British and Jewish identities; the recent history and current state of British-Jewish literary and visual culture; and the relation of that culture to the mainstream in Britain. The seminar will also consider British-Jewish culture in the light of postcolonial thinking and in comparison to the development of Jewish culture in the USA.

The workshop will consist of three two-speaker panels, each panel centred on a particular theme

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