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The Jewish Dead in Literature and Lore

  • Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies 1140 Amsterdam Ave. New York United States (map)

What happens when the line between the dead and the living gets transgressed? Join us for a haunting lecture as we explore this gray area in Jewish lore, literature, and culture. Hear from Jonathan Boyarin as he delves into examples that are both familiar and not and shows us that though we try to preserve tidy lines separating the dead from the world of the living, careful borders which delineate our modern reality, we still remain uneasy. By examining these Jewish ghosts, we find that our discomfort with the afterlife might in fact result from our insistence on these walls.

Supported by the generosity of the Kaye and Radov families.

Co-sponsored by CUNY Graduate Center and Columbia Univerisity's Department of Germanic Languages.

Jonathan Boyarin is the Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at Cornell University, where he teaches in the departments of anthropology and Near Eastern Studies. His research inquires broadly into modes of transmission of Jewish culture and identity and the dynamics of diaspora, with a special focus on the Jewish community of New York City's Lower East Side. He is currently completing an autoethnography of his study at an Orthodox yeshiva there.