This annual Judaic Studies Lecture is sponsored by the Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and the Jay Rudolph Endowment.
This annual Judaic Studies Lecture is sponsored by the Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and the Jay Rudolph Endowment. The lecture is named for Selma Klingenstein who, along with her husband Paul, helped establish the Klingenstein Chair in Judaic Studies at New College in 2001.
“Humans, Animals, and Hybrids in Rabbinic Reproductive Thought”
Jan. 17 , 2017 | 5:30 p.m. in Sainer Auditorium
The first thing that often comes to mind when thinking about Jewish and Christian ideas of humanness is the Hebrew Bible’s notion of humanity “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). Noting the ways that the human as “image of God” can form the basis of exclusions as much as they can gesture to diversity, Professor Neis will present a very different approach to classical Jewish approaches to humanness. Neis will argue that the ancient rabbis actually thought about the limits and makings of the human within broader considerations about reproduction and species hybridity. She will show the surprising ways in which the early rabbis of the Mishnah created a “biology” that sought to determine the boundaries and the overlaps between species.
This alternative Jewish approach to the human opens up possibilities for a more porous and varied approach to bodily variation and dovetails with insights drawn from the fields of disability studies and animal studies. Drawing upon understudied traditions in the tractates on menstrual and agricultural laws in the Mishnah, Neis also shows surprising affinities between these ancient rabbinic traditions and the graphic novel The Rabbi’s Cat and the artistic works of Sunaura Taylor.
Lectures are sponsored by New College of Florida, The Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and The Jay Rudolph Endowment, and New Topics New College.
2016: Talya Fishman, “How did Jews Become the People of the Talmud?: The Metamorphosis of Oral Torah in Medieval Europe.”
2015: Jonathan Klawans, “The Masada Story: Martyrs, Murders and Myths”
2013: Cynthia M. Baker, “The Essentially Ambiguous Jewess: Exploring Images of Jewish Women through the Centuries”
2012: Jordan D. Rosenblum, “Jewish Foodways: Ancient and Modern”
2011: Maxine Grossman, “What’s the Use of ‘Men’ in Jewish Feminist Scholarship?”
2010: David Frankfurter, “Exorcism and Demons in Early Judaism”
2009: Nora Rubel, “Gefilte Fish in the Gilded Age: Jewish Women’s Activism and the Settlement Cookbook.”
2008: Jodi Magness, “The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
2007: David Stern, “Through the Pages of the Past: The Jewish Book in its Historical Context.”
2005: Ross Kraemer, “Searching for (Jewish?) Women in Greco-Roman Narratives: Or When is a Text about a Woman a Text about a Woman.”
2004: John Marshall, “Reading Judaism while Reading Revelation: New Perspectives on the Diaspora.”