The AJS Division provides the opportunity for submissions in the areas of professional development and field building. Because the AJS Division is intended for a distinct group of submissions that do not categorically fit into other academic divisions, the committee will only accept submissions that identify the AJS Division as its primary division. The program committee will review these proposals.
|Professional development and field building|
Bible and the History of Biblical Interpretation
Literature of the Bible; world of the Bible; early post-biblical literature (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls); interpretation of the Bible from antiquity to modern times; all areas of critical biblical scholarship and history of interpretation
The role of the Bible in Contemporary Judaism (w/ Modern Jewish Thought and Theology); the birth of Historical Criticism; Bible-like compositions after the Bible (w/ Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity).
Gender and Sexuality Studies:
We welcome panels and papers that advance the multidisciplinary field of gender and sexuality studies. This includes—but is not limited to—research that engages with women’s studies, the study of masculinities, queer studies, trans studies, and LGBTQ+ studies. We particularly encourage scholarly conversations that cross methodological, historical, and regional boundaries.
Topics we would especially welcome include the intersections of Jewishness, sexuality and gender with the study of ethno-nationalism; canonical texts; art and performance; family formation; embodiment; queer Jewish ritual; dynamics of power and oppression; the critical study of emotion; government and politics; sustainability and the environment; plants, animals, and other non-human actors.
Caveats: This is not the proper venue for presentations or workshops focusing on gender equity within Jewish studies or its subfields. While such presentations are an ethical imperative and crucial to the viability of the field, gender equity is the responsibility of every division of the AJS, not just units that promote the critical study of gender. Proposals about gender equity in Jewish Studies should be submitted to the AJS Division.
This is also not the proper venue for papers or panels that do not critically engage categories of gender and sexuality, even if they focus on a female or LGBTQ subject.
The Holocaust Studies division encourages individual papers and panels informed by comparative and interdisciplinary approaches.
|The role of gender during the Holocaust; US government responses to the Holocaust; commemoration of the Holocaust; the Holocaust and art; the "third generation"; the future uses of testimony; access to archives and ethical issues related to the use of archives.|
Interdisciplinary, Theoretical, and New Approaches
This division welcomes proposals that cross geographical, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries; considers theoretical approaches; and new methodologies in Jewish Studies.
Multi- and interdisciplinary studies of Israeli society, culture, and politics
The Israel Studies division welcomes innovative proposals on the histories, cultures, and societies of Israel or Israel/Palestine, including through local, comparative, or transnational perspectives.
Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity
This division examines the history and culture of the Jews and Judaism in the Persian, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine periods (from the sixth century B.C.E. through seventh century C.E.). We invite scholars to think about the larger historiographic and cultural contexts in which we write and interpret the Jewish past.
|We encourage proposals on any topic related to Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity. Some possible topics could include: Household religion; Jews and Christians; apocalypticism; "law" as a category in ancient Judaism; Jews under foreign rule; material culture; bilingualism; impact of the Cairo Geniza on the study of late antiquity; teaching late antiquity (pedagogy); economic history; Jews and Judaism in their Sasanian contexts.|
Jewish Languages and Linguistics from Antiquity to the Present
Linguistic, semiotic, or philological studies of Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish languages; language instruction in Hebrew, Yiddish, other Jewish languages
|Endangered Jewish language varieties (e.g., Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Tat, Jewish Malayalam): Shift and postvernacularity; Developing Jewish language varieties (e.g., Jewish English, Jewish Latin American Spanish, Jewish Russian): Variation and change; Hebrew and Diaspora languages: Mutual influence; Jewish Languages and gender; Historical Linguistics of Jewish languages.|
Literature, history, and phenomenology of Jewish mysticism in all periods
|Kabbalah and the Arts; Psychological Approaches to Mysticism; Mysticism and the Mitzvot; Mysticism as Literature; Modes of Theology in Jewish Mysticism; Identity, Gender, and Sexuality; Mystical Circles and their Social-Historical Dynamics; Dimensions of the Sacred: Time, Space, Person, Book|
This division investigates how Jewish identity has been mobilized and deployed in historical and contemporary political debates and struggles; how contemporary politics in various geographical spaces and in various eras have, and do, shape Jewish identity; and how the profession of Jewish Studies contends with politics, particularly around questions of identity, loyalty, and dissent.
|Historical or contemporary Jewish political struggles; Navigating Jewish power and powerlessness; Jewish political theory; Politics of Jewish Studies|
Jews, Film, and the Arts
Representation of Judaism and Jews in visual art, film, media, music, theater, and dance; the role of the arts in Jewish history and civilization; Jewish cultural production
Along with a range of submissions on visual art, film, media, music, theater, and dance, Jews, Film and the Arts Division has a new initiative. In collaboration with the AJS Film Committee, the Division is seeking submissions to panels/roundtables organized in conjunction with screening of two films, Broken Barriers (Khavah) and Incitement:
Broken Barriers (Khavah)
Subjects of interest include (but not limited to):
Subjects of interest include (but not limited to):
Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History, Literature, and Culture
Jewish history in Muslim and Christian realms; Jewish literatures including but not limited to belles lettres, piyyut, and exegesis; medieval and early modern Jewish art, artifacts, and architecture
Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Jewish philosophy and its history in medieval and late medieval times
|Emotions, Embodiment, and the Pursuit of Wisdom; Medieval Theories of Knowledge and the Neurosciences today; The Literary Genres of Medieval Philosophy.|
Modern Hebrew Literature
Hebrew literature from the Haskalah on, including contemporary Israeli literature
|We would like to encourage expansive comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to modern Hebrew literature. Such approaches might consider how Hebrew literature engages with other literary traditions or other disciplines through, for example: Translation to and from Hebrew; Specific theoretical paradigms, such as Disability Studies, Queer Theory, the Post-Human; Interaction with languages and/or literary traditions not usually associated with Hebrew culture; The dialogue between Hebrew literature and extra-literary factors such as economics, the environment, or medicine|
Modern Jewish History in Europe, Asia, Israel, and Other Communities
The Modern Jewish History in Europe, Asia, Israel, and Other Communities division welcomes papers and panels that present case studies of individual Jewish communities in these regions, or that adopt comparative approaches to shed new light on methodological or theoretical themes.
|Modern Jewish history in national, transnational, or comparative context. Immigration, migration, and mobility, borders and borderlands. Antisemitism and Jewish responses to authoritarianism.|
Modern Jewish History in the Americas
This division seeks proposals that deal with some aspect of Jewish history in the Americas.
|Explore race, migration, anti-Semitism, or transnational themes; Engage in conversation with neighboring fields such as American history and modern Jewish history; Offer an element of research on Sephardi, Mizrahi, or non-Ashkenazi Jews; Broaden our understanding of the Americas beyond the United States.|
Modern Jewish Literature and Culture
American Jewish literature; European Jewish literature; modern Sephardic literature; and their cultural contexts
Climate, Environment, Inequality
Modern Jewish Thought and Theology
Jewish philosophy and thought in modern times; modern Jewish religious movements
|Jewish theological developments in 19th and early 20th century Middle East and North Africa; Mizrahi Jewish theology; Haskalah and Nahda; the impact of slavery and colonialism on modern Jewish self-understanding; Jewish theology as a divine economy; Judaism, gender and physicality; understandings of prayer in modern Jewish thought; the influence of Hasidism on Zionist and anti-Zionist thought; opening the boundaries of Jewish thought for the future; Jewish Studies as modern Jewish thought; philology, orientalism and imperialism; the influence of Protestant theology on Jewish self-understanding; engagements with democracy and fascism in modern Jewish thought; Jewish theological resources for combatting environmental devastation; reading modern Jewish thought through the lens of contemporary feminist theory; Jewish accounts of justified and unjustified secular political authority.|
Pedagogy and Professional Practice
The pedagogy division seeks individual papers, panels, or roundtable sessions on issues or themes relevant to the theory and practice of teaching Jewish Studies. The pedagogy division is broad in conception and hopes to generate scholarly conversation about teaching both as it relates to the classroom and to questions of curriculum development in the field of Jewish Studies.
For example, we welcome proposals on topics such as: new research in the scholarship of teaching and learning, teaching a particular text or subject in Jewish Studies, issues of identity in Jewish Studies classrooms, technologies and practices in the classroom, and language pedagogy.
Rabbinic Literature and Culture
The Rabbinic Literature and Culture division seeks various types of submissions (papers, panels, method workshops (in pedagogy or research), roundtables, seminars) that foreground the texts produced by the rabbis who were active been the first and eighth centuries CE.
|Text critical interpretation of local and global phenomena in one or several rabbinic works; Methodological Reflections; Reception history; Daf Yomi and Contemporary popularization; Rabbinics Pedagogy; Critical Interventions from Gender Studies, Animal Studies, Disability Studies and other Theoretical Discourses; History of the Book; Rabbinics and Digital Humanities.|
The Sephardi-Mizrahi Studies Division welcomes proposals that explore all aspects of the histories, cultures, languages, politics, literary and intellectual creation, social formations, class dynamics, racial configurations, religious practices, arts and music, and diverse expressions of gender and sexuality among Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.
|This year, we are speciallly interested in panel submissions that: explore, interrogate, or challenge the meanings associated with terms like “Sephardi,” “Mizrahi,” and other related categories like “Ashkenazi;” that situate Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in conversation with each other, with other Jewish communities, and with neighboring societies and states; and that seek to challenge, revise, or overturn dominant narratives and scholarly paradigms in Jewish Studies by centering the perspectives and experiences of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews.|
Sociology, anthropology, folklore, political science, and social psychology as applied to Jewish communities
Yiddish literature and its history
|Yiddish and Jewish Humor; Yiddish and Hebrew; Yiddish and Translation; Sholem Aleichem in Fiction and Film|