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, political, and philosophical 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 studies 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. In the future, we look forward to continuing to work with various AAR — and whenever possible, SBL — Program Units.
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Study of Judaism Unit
Call for Proposals
This Unit welcomes proposals for individual papers, papers sessions, and roundtables dealing with Judaism, Jews, and Jewish studies broadly conceived — from late antiquity to the present, in multiple global settings, and employing various methodologies — that address topics of concern to the broader community of religious studies scholars. Pre-arranged session or panel proposals should represent a diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, and academic rank.
We are open to any proposals related to the study of Judaism, although for 2023, we are particularly interested in the following topics:
- Hands, in conversation with the 2023 AAR presidential theme of “La Labor de Nuestras Manos”
- Judaism, Latinidad, and/or Spanish languages and literatures, in conversation with the 2023 AAR presidential theme
- Judaism and the category of the human
- Rest, labor, and care in Jewish thought, practice, ritual, and theory
- Judaism and reproductive rights
- Pre-arranged panels or roundtables putting into conversation two or more recently published books (2020-2023) of significance to the study of Judaism
2023 is the 40th anniversary of the film Yentl, the 50th anniversary of The Way we Were, and the 55th anniversary of Funny Girl. We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, or roundtables that re-consider Barbra Streisand as icon and director, including revisiting the themes of gender, religion, race, sexuality, and class in her films (co-sponsored by Religion, Film, and Visual Culture and Queer Studies in Religion).
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Naftali Cohn, Concordia University, Montreal1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Rachel Gordan, University of Florida1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Cara Rock-Singer, University of Wisconsin1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Sam Shonkoff, Graduate Theological Union1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Adam Stern, University of Wisconsin, Madison1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Sarah Zager, Yale University1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028