Annual report 2011-12
Abbreviations: Philip Alexander (PSA), Moshe Behar (MB), Jean-Marc Dreyfus (JMD), Francesca Frazer (FF), Sophie Garside (SG), Cathy Gelbin (CG), Bernard Jackson (BSJ), Daniel Langton (DL), Katharina Keim (KK), Pauline Henry-Tierney (PHT), Alex Samely (AS), Renate Smithuis (RS), Bill Williams (BW). Middle Eastern Studies (MES), Religions & Theology (R&T).
a. Staffing: Core staff and co-administrators, and Jewish Studies-related staff DL and AS are co-directors of the Centre for Jewish Studies (CJS), with JMD acting as co-ordinator of the seminar programme, and with KK, PHT, and FF as co-administrators. The planning committee also includes MB, SG, CG, HL and RS as co-editor of Melilah. Other JS-related staff include George Brooke, John Healey, Malka Hodgson and Ariel Abel. Philip Alexander, FBA, and Bernard Jackson are professors emeriti. Adrian Curtis has now retired. MB and SG were promoted to senior lecturers in 2012, and JMD to Reader in 2011.
b. Post-doctorate positions: Dr Maria Haralambakis completed a Rothschild Foundation fellowship on Moses Gaster in August 2012. This post-doctorate research position resulted in an updated catalogue index of Gaster-related holdings at the University, to be published in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, and papers presented in Oxford and Amsterdam. There was also a public lecture at the Manchester Jewish Museum, and a bibliographic electronic resource will be made available online.
c. Honorary Fellows: In 2011-12 Ephraim Nissan and Yaakov Wise were approved as Honorary Fellows. Dan Garner, a former PhD student who has recently published his first book, was approved in Oct 2012.
d. Vision: The major theme of our Centre remains the exploration in both our teaching and our research of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. This theme embraces, for example, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (Dreyfus, Gelbin, Langton, Williams); Jewish-Christian relations (Langton and Brooke); Jewish-Muslim relations (Smithuis); Jewish-Arab relations (Behar); Jewish/non-Jewish philosophy (Samely). For 2012-13, we have chosen Israel Studies as a theme for the Sherman Lectures (Prof. Derek Penslar, Oxford) and research seminars.
i. Office The office holds the Bill Williams library and related materials, open to the public by appointment, and is primarily used for doctoral supervisions, our post-graduate students, and CJS fellows. A new computer has been installed this year.
ii. Library We have secured £20k from university endowment accounts for the development of medieval Jewish Studies holdings in the main university library. AS and RS will take this forward.
iii. Website The website has been developed with additional features such as podcasts of the 2012 Sherman Lectures (see 4a below), and continues to list and archive entries on publications and events. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org
i. MB facilitated matching government and private funding to sponsor a three-year PhD in Israel Studies.
ii. SG was awarded a grant from the British Friends of the Hebrew University of £5000 per year for two years for student support.
iii. DL was successful in his application for £1500 over 3 years to the RFE for funding for the production costs of the Centre’s journal Melilah.
iv. DL was successful in his application to the Laski Trust for £2000 for two years for further development of the Nathan Laski internet resource site for teaching and research purposes in the area of Jewish Studies.
v. AS’s AHRC project has generated £3000 for books relating to ancient Jewish texts.
vi. JMD’s ERC project has set aside £5000 for books related to Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
a. Grants past, present and future
i. AS’s project (‘Typology of Pseudepigraphic and Anonymous Jewish Literature of Antiquity, c. 200 BCE to c. 700 CE’) has now finished, resulting in a database, a book (to be published in 2013), a themed issue of Aramaic Studies (2011) and a number of articles. See www.manchester.ac.uk/ancientjewishliterature/
ii. JMD’s project (‘Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide’) officially started on 1 February 2012. One of the sub-projects will be to consider the rabbinic responsa on mass graves of the Holocaust; it will be led in collaboration with researchers of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. See www.corpsesofmassviolence.eu/
iii. Draft project: AS has been drafting a major research application to use the methodology of the ‘Inventory of Structurally Important Literary Features’ created during his AHRC Typology project to investigate the ancient constitution of texts in a new corpus: the books of the Hebrew Bible and related texts.
b. Research activities
i. Research Seminars: A programme of 7 seminars was organised by JMD, including Les Lancaster (Liverpool John Moores University), Daniel Falk (University of Oregon), Hedva Abel (University of Manchester), Sacha Stern (UCL), Bernard Jackson (Liverpool Hope University), Hadrien Laroche (French embassy, Ireland), and Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London). See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/research-seminars-2011-12/
ii. Melilah: Manchester Journal for Jewish Studies: Two supplementary volumes were published online, to be published in book form by Gorgias Press: Normative Judaism? Jews, Judaism and Jewish Identity (Philip Alexander and Daniel Langton, eds) and Memory, Traces and the Holocaust in the Writings of W.G. Sebald (Janet Wolff and Jean-Marc Dreyfus, eds). See www.mucjs.org/MELILAH/
iii. Levinas Reading Group: AS continued to lead this fortnightly session during term time to discuss the writings of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas.
iv. Leo Baeck Institute Year Book: CG was appointed as new co-editor of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book (Oxford Journals) in August 2011.
v. Public lectures and research papers at other universities: Many staff and fellows present at other institutions and are listed throughout the year on the newsblog. Examples include Alex Samely, ‘Database for the Analysis of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature of Antiquity’ at the Biblical Studies Seminar at St Andrews University (26 April); Maria Haralambakis, ‘Moses Gaster (1856-1939): His Life and Work, Illustrated by the Gaster Collection at the John Rylands University Library Manchester’ at the Manchester Jewish Museum (12 August); Daniel Langton, ‘Jewish Religious Thought and Darwinism’ at Parkes Institute for Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton (9 October). See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/news-blog/
a. Survey of courses: For 2012-entry there were 29 undergraduate course modules (10 at year-1, 8 at year-2, and 11 at year-3) and 9 postgraduate course modules in the general area of Jewish Studies. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/ug-course-descriptions/ and www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/pg-course-descriptions/
b. PhD students: For 2012-entry there were 18 students registered for a Jewish Studies related PhD. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/phd-study-opportunities/#CURRENT In 2011, there was one completion: Jennifer Williams, Approaches to Childlessness in the Hebrew Bible (supervised by Adrian Curtis) was completed in 2011. In 2012 there were two completions: Ann Conway-Jones, The Celestial Tabernacle in Gregory of Nyssa (supervised by Philip Alexander), and Simon Mayers, From ‘the Pharisee’ to ‘the Zionist Menace’: Myths, Stereotypes and Constructions of the Jew in English Catholic Discourse, 1869-1929 (supervised by Daniel Langton).
c. MA students: For 2012-entry there were 2.5 students registered for the MA in Jewish Studies (R&T), in comparison with 1.5 students for 2011-12. A number of other students enrolled on more generic MAs in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures also specialise in Jewish Studies.
d. New Undergraduate programmes: From 2013-14, the BA degree Hebrew Studies is no longer available, but SG has facilitated the approval of three new BA degree programmes. Within MES and R&T the options for Jewish Studies related course choices are now:
· Hebrew and Israel Studies 4yrs – new programme
· Middle Eastern Studies and Hebrew 4yrs – new programme
· Modern Middle Eastern History and Hebrew 4yrs – new programme
· Middle Eastern Language and a Modern European Language (Hebrew and...) 4yrs
· Middle Eastern Languages (Hebrew and...) 4 yrs
· Religions and Theology 3 yrs
e. Student exchanges with the University of Manchester: A new student exchange programme with Hebrew University has been developed by SG. In 2010-11, 3 undergraduate students from the University of Manchester studied at HU for a year, and 4 students went out in 2011-12. In return, we have been able to host 4 Israeli students over the same period.
f. Student Visit: On 14 March 2012 JMD organized two visits for the students from his second year course, ‘A history apart: Jews in Europe 19th-20th centuries’ to the Manchester Jewish Museum and Heritage trail.
g. Student Visit: On 14 March 2012 SG led a group of fifteen students from Religions and Theology and Middle Eastern Studies on an excursion to visit the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge.
4. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER / OUTREACH
a. Sherman Lectures 2012: The annual series of 4 public lectures in the area of Jewish Studies was given by Philip Alexander, FBA, University of Manchester, on ‘The Messianic Idea in Judaism Revisited’. Podcasts of all the lectures were made available online, as were the abstracts and handouts. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/sherman-lectures-2012/
b. Media: Several colleagues appeared on BBC radio, including Philip Alexander (‘King Solomon’ and ‘Judas Maccabeus’ in In Our Time, Radio 4), Bill Williams and Yaakov Wise (‘Manchester Jewry’ in Great British Faith, Radio 2), and Moshe Behar (interviewed about Palestine’s admission to UNESCO, Radio 5 Live, and about the implications of the withdrawal of armed US armed forces from Iraq, Radio Manchester). See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/media
c. ICCJ Manchester conference: The International Council of Christians and Jews’ annual conference was held in Manchester 1-4 July 2012, co-organised by the CJS (DL was chair of the Planning Committee and FF was the Conference Co-ordinator). The theme was ‘Social Responsibility and Multiculturalism’ and the conference, co-sponsored by the University, was attended by over 200 delegates, mostly from throughout Europe, the US, Israel and Australia, but also from Canada, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and the Philippines. Keynote speakers included John Denham, MP, and Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger. The following colleagues from the University also presented: Philip Alexander, Mustafa Baig, DL, Peter Scott, and Graham Ward. See www.iccj.org/Conferences.3850.0.html
d. Holocaust Workshop: The Centre for Jewish Studies and the Imperial War Museum North presented a free one-day conference on 10 Oct 2011 entitled ‘New Directions in Holocaust Research.’ Speakers included Ivan Jablonka (College de France), Alex Korb (University of Leicester), Jackie Mesrie, and Michael Salter (University of Central Lancashire). The conference was organised by JMD and aimed at Secondary and Primary school teachers, BA/MA Education and PGCE students.
e. Medical Ethics conference: JMD organised an international conference ‘From the Nuremberg code to Contemporary Medical Ethics’ in Paris in November 2011. Proceedings will be published in January 2013. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/medical-ethics-conference
f. AGM: The Centre held an Open Evening (with kosher reception) on 1 March 2012 in which the activities of the Centre and its staff were showcased, including a number of current research projects. See www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/news-blog/2012/2/10/open-evening.html
g. Public Plenary on Jewish Mission, Liverpool Hope University: On 26 July 2012, CJS fellow Reuven Silverman and DL contributed to an Anglican clergy training day at Liverpool Hope University for the Southern North West Training Partnership on the subject of Jewish and Christian views on Mission.
h. Two day workshop, Liverpool University: Religious Symbolism and Discrimination: Academic and Faith Perspectives. On 25-26 May 2012, CJS honorary research fellow Harry Lesser contributed to this two-day workshop which was part of the Arts-and-Humanities Research Council’s ‘Connected Communities’ programme.
i. Primary school presentation, Chorlton Brookburn Primary School: MB spoke on the subject of ‘The Origins of Hebrew and Judaism’ on 6 December 2011.
j. Shapiro Book Award committee: MB was a member of the Shapiro Book Award Committee, for the best book in Israeli studies, presented by the Association of Israel Studies.
k. Mein Kampf workshop: JMD co-organised this one-day event at the Université de Paris 2 Sorbonne. The eight speakers and 30 delegates considered the potential challenges raised by the arrival of Mein Kampf in the public domain in 2016.
Daniel Langton and Alex Samely
29 Sept 2012