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[Conference CFP] Expanding the Archive(s) of Southern Jewish History

The Southern Jewish Historical Society will host its 45th annual conference October 23-25, in Charleston, South Carolina. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston. In honor of this milestone, the conference will examine how archives have influenced the study of southern Jewish history and culture in the past and how they might continue to do so in the future. Fittingly, the conference theme, “Expanding the Archive(s) of Southern Jewish History,” reflects how archives today are reconsidering the role they play in contributing to knowledge. How might we use archival material—or create new collections—to discover new southern Jewish voices and stories? How might digital humanities and digital archives help us achieve our archival mission? 

Besides regarding archives as institutions, we aim to broaden conceptions of “the archive” that we use to understand southern Jewish history. For instance, what does the built environment tell us about Jewish life in the South? What can we learn from material culture? From oral histories, ethnographic fieldwork, or literary texts? Possible topics include the history of individual, congregational, and academic southern Jewish archives; southern Jewish materials in non-Jewish and/or non-southern archives; archival efforts to collect contemporary materials and/or those from “silenced” communities; southern Jewish foodways; and other innovative and interdisciplinary methods for studying Jews in the South. We also welcome proposals that explore how archival sources shape a given subject. We encourage the submission of traditional panels and roundtables as well as other creative formats, including hands-on workshops. The deadline for panel and paper proposals is March 29, 2020. Send all proposals and inquiries to program co-chair Shari Rabin ( More information at