PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Study of Judaism Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

The goal of this Unit is to develop and expand the relationship between the study of Judaism and the broader study of religion. We work to meet this goal in three primary ways:

• Methodologically
• Topically
• By cosponsorship with other Program Units

First, this Unit engages in active conversation with the methodologies common to the study of religion by exploring the historical, social, aesthetic, and political aspects of Jewish religion in its various contexts. All the while, we challenge methodologies in place at the AAR and offer new approaches to the study of religion through our focus on textual studies and the engagement between texts/doctrines and other aspects of religious culture. Second, we wrestle with topics of concern to the community of religious scholars in general, including community and commitment, gender, and the intersection between religion and politics. Finally, we actively pursue cosponsorship with other AAR Program Units. Recently, we have worked with the Study of Islam Unit, the Mysticism Unit, the Theology and Continental Philosophy Unit, and several SBL Sections. In the future, we look forward to continuing to work with various AAR — and whenever possible, SBL — Program Units.

Call for Papers: 

This Unit welcomes individual paper, papers session, and roundtable proposals from the wide scope of Judaism, Jews, and Jewish studies — from late antiquity to the present. For 2018, we are particularly interested in the following topics:

• Jewish Christians and "Judeo-Christian", from antiquity to the present

• Relationship between Jewish Studies and Religious Studies

• Presumed masculinity implicit in Jewish thought, role of gender in the field

• Jews and Race
Conversations with theologies of color. Co-sponsorship with the Black Theology Unit and the Study of Judaism Unit.

• How do themes of Blackness and anti-Blackness work in Jewish thought or history? For scholars of Black theology, how are Jewishness, anti-Semitism, and supersessionism being treated in their canon of sources? How is Jewish studies constructing Blackness? How is Black studies constructing Jewishness?

• Judaism and Anthropology

• Jews and Empire

• Judaism and Food

• Nora Rubel's (forthcoming) book, Recipes for the Melting Pot: The Lives of the Settlement Cook Book offers a cultural biography of The Way to a Man’s Heart: The Settlement Cook Book, the most successful fundraising cookbook in American history, having seen forty printings and sold over two million copies. Non-kosher from the start, the book that emerged from a turn-of-the-century Jewish Settlement House featured traditional Jewish recipes alongside a multi-ethnic fusion that reflected not only its Midwestern, acculturated Jewish origins, but also projected cosmopolitan aspirations. Accordingly, the Study of Judaism Unit and the Religion and Food Unit are interested in submissions that will engage this book. Topics include, but are not limited to:
o The impact of The Settlement Cook Book on the construction of a Jewish American religio-culinary culture
o The challenges of cultural memory in maintaining religio-culinary tradition
o The cultural impact of carrying on food traditions in a new land (or we could say in diasporic contexts?)
o Food and religion’s impact on serving sub-cultural communities
o Connections between domestic reform and religious reform movements

• Jay Geller’s Bestiarum Judaicum
Co-sponsored with Animals and Religion Unit and the Study of Judaism Unit.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Comments: 
We do allow the chairs to see the names so that we can be more inclusive with respect to racial, gender, and career diversities.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee