2022 - 2023 Academic Events

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is an inter-departmental program that sponsors a wide variety of cultural events, offers educational programs, and fosters academic research and scholarly exchange of ideas. Over the past several decades, the Center for Jewish Studies has confirmed its commitment to fostering global academic engagement through the acquisition of resource materials in conjunction with Duke Library, as well as the continued presence of a wide variety of specialists in the field of Jewish studies through a series of endowed lectures, conferences, reading groups, seminars, and talks. The following events were offered in the 2022-2023 academic year by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies to students, faculty, staff, community members, and beyond. 

September 8, 2022

Global Jewish Modernism: Translation Series Welcomes Ann Goldstein

The Global Jewish Modernism Lab welcomes Ann Goldstein who will discuss literary translation on September 8, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. Ann Goldstein is best known as the award-winning translator of Elena Ferrante. In addition to her work as head copy-editor of the New Yorker, she is also a prolific translator of other important works from Italian into English, including those of Primo Levi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Marina Jarre, Piera Sonnino, Nadia Terranova, and Amara Lakhous.

The Global Jewish Modernism Lab presents a series of lectures focused on translation. These events aim prompt conversations about the topics of translation and identity across campus, drawing on previous initiatives and also hopefully lead to new interactions. We will consider how various aspects of translation-from the translator's background to choices about target language and distribution-shape the understanding of a work as Jewish. Other questions include the role of self-translation within Jewish Studies, the complexity of translating multilingual works, and the phenomenon of first edition translations (e.g., German exile writers who wrote in German but whose work first appeared in English or Spanish translation). We would also draw on the diverse linguistic knowledge of Duke's community to consider works that have not been translated into English, calling attention to the act of translation as a formative cultural and political act.


September 11, 2022

North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar Welcomes Orit Rozin

The North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar is pleased to welcome Dr. Orit Rozin, Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. Her research interests span the social, legal, and cultural history of modern Israel. Rozin has published on Israeli citizenship, legislation and jurisprudence, immigration, gender issues, family life and Zionist propaganda films . Most recently she has published articles assessing Israel's political and security problems from the perspective of the history of emotions.

Her book, The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism (2011), was published by Brandeis University Press. The Hebrew version of the book, published in 2008 received the Association for Israel Studies' Shapiro best book award in 2009.

Her recent book A Home for all Jews: Citizenship, Rights and National Identity in the New Israeli State was published by Brandeis University Press 2016. It was the runner-up for the 2018 Jordan Schnitzer award from the Association for Jewish Studies. Rozin is currently completing a book titled The Fashioning of the Israeli Emotional Regime and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.


September 13, 2022

Duke Center for Jewish Studies Research Scholars Symposium

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to present our 2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Research Scholars at our annual symposium.   Please come to hear what our scholars have been doing with their summer, and where their research is headed into the future.  


Sophia Goodfriend

Spy Stories: On Ethnography and Surveillance in Israel/Palestine”

Sophia Goodfriend is a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology. Her doctoral research examines the ethics and impact of new surveillance technologies in Israel/Palestine. Sophia's writing has appeared in a number of popular outlets including Foreign Policy, Jewish Currents, the Baffler, the Boston review, and 972 Magazine. Her research is supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Duke’s Center for Jewish studies.

Joshua Shelly

“Theodor Herzl meets the German Kaiser: The Emancipatory Roots of Jewish Nationalism”

Joshua Shelly is a PhD student in his final year in the Carolina-Duke German Studies Program. His research focuses on the role of German Jewish literature in the early Zionist movement. His research has been supported by the Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and most recently, by the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Abby Finkle

“Koolulam Revolutionizes Public Singing”

Abby Finkle, Trinity ’25, is a sophomore from NYC. She is still undecided in terms of her major, as she has many passions she wants to explore more. One of those passions is music, which is how she became interested in Koolulam.

Jonathan Homrighausen

“‘Then Queen Esther Daughter of Abihail Wrote’: Gendered Agency and Ritualized Writing in Jewish Scriptural Practice”

Jonathan Homrighausen is a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible at Duke University and former Shatzmiller Fellow. He is the author of two books and several articles. His dissertation, Writing Esther, Then and Now, focuses on the writing and copying of the megillah in the Bible and midrash, scribal ritual, and Purim liturgy. He currently teaches in Judaic Studies and Religious Studies at the College of William & Mary.

Iris Gilad

“The Cartographic Artworks of Ariane Littman”

Iris Gilad is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Art History specializing in contemporary Middle-Eastern art. She is conducting research on her dissertation, titled “Maps and Mapping Dislocation: The Art of Contemporary Middle Eastern Women Émigré Artists.” Her dissertation examines the themes of borders, migration, and mobility in the works of contemporary Middle-Eastern women artists.


Garrett McKinnon

"Unmanly Powers: The 1960 U-2 Crisis, Gender Anxieties, Religious Objections, and the Automation of United States Airpower"

Garrett McKinnon is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Duke University. His dissertation is a cultural history of United States machine war in the 20th century. It critically studies U.S. drone warfare tracing the technology’s intertwining with politics and society from the World War I era to the present moment.

Danya Belkin

“Combatting Anti-Semitism from a Legal Standpoint: Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law”

Danya Belkin is a current sophomore at Duke planning to major in Political Science, with a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to pursue a law degree after her undergraduate studies. Before attending Duke, she participated in a gap year program in Israel (2020-2021). During her time at Duke, Danya has been active in the Jewish community. She is President of Duke Friends of Israel and founded Jewtinos @ Duke (a Jewish-Latino student group). This past summer she interned at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a legal nonprofit focused on combatting anti-Semitism.

Lily Levin

“New York Jewish Diaspora and Identity”

Lily Levin (she/they) is a Duke senior and English major. She is particularly interested in the intersection between storytelling and justice and hopes to use her senior thesis to explore her own background and relationship to social change. In their free time, Lily loves to run and watching New Girl (but not at the same time).


Ameliah Leonhardt

“The Garden of Eva: Eden and Exile in Veza Canetti’s Die Schildkröten"

Ameliah is a second-year Ph.D candidate who earned her B.A. in English for Secondary Teachers at Western Kentucky University in 2013. For her honors undergraduate thesis, she explored images of Jewish identity in literature from the Second Temple period. After teaching English abroad and at American secondary schools, she earned her M.A. in Religious Studies at Duke University in 2019. She is primarily concerned with German and Austrian Jewish literature from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as Yiddish literature from the same period.

Abigail Emerson

"Being, Buying, and Preserving Jews: A Biblical Leaf in Three Collections"

Abigail Emerson is a third-year Hebrew Bible/Old Testament PhD candidate in Duke’s Graduate Program in Religion. She earned a BA with distinction from Yale University in 2014 and an MA in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity from the University of Virginia in 2020. With backgrounds in art, environmentalism, and rabbinics, she comes to biblical studies with an eye for Hebrew Bibles as material and religious objects. Her research has included textiles, tablets, and scrolls in the Levant, commentary in the ancient world, and Jewish medieval Bible scholarship.

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies Research Scholars program is funded entirely by the generosity of our donors.   We are grateful to the Ostad Fellowship in Jewish Studies, and the Seymour H. Shore Endowment, both of which support out Undergraduate Research Scholars; and the Nathan J. Perilman Fellowship in Judaic Studies, which supports graduate students. 


October 6, 2022

Global Jewish Modernism Lab presents: What is Citizenship?

Mia Fuller (UC Berkeley), Shai Ginsburg (Duke), Igiaba Scego (Author and Visiting Scholar, Duke)

“What is…” Dialogue Series: Each dialogue involves the examination of one term and its representation and use in diverse geographical and historical contexts, both within Jewish Studies and outside of it. Each conversation involves at least two scholars, one from Duke and one from another institution.


Tuesday, October 13, 2022

Is American Conservatism Dead?  A Conversation with Bret Stephens

In the age of Trump, what's left of and for American conservatism? Is the Republican Party altered forevermore? And what are we to make of -- and do about -- the hate that consumes so many Americans, including a resurgence of anti-Semitism? Best-selling author and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni will put those questions and more to Bret Stephens, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, at Penn Pavilion at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 13. Mr. Stephens will also take questions from the public.    This event is made possible by the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Dewitt Wallace Center for media and Democracy, the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, and the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Global Jewish Modernism Lab presents: “Being Black in Venice” with Shaul Bassi and Igiaba Scego

Shaul Bassi is Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies and Centre for Environmental Humanities at Ca’ Foscari, the University of Venice. He is the director of the Center for Humanities and Social Change at Ca’ Foscari. His research focuses on English literature, Shakespeare, postcolonial literature, otherness, and Jewish Venetians. He is author of numerous books, including Shakespeare’s Italy and Italy’s Shakespeare: Place, “Race” Politics (2016), and editor of even more, including Experiences of freedom in postcolonial literatures and cultures. He has also written on environmental issues, especially as experienced in Venice. 


October 23, 2022

NCJSS Welcomes Karen B. Stern

The North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar welcomes Karen B. Stern, Professor of History at Brooklyn College of City University of New York. She conducts research across disciplines of history, archaeology, classics, and religion and teaches courses on Mediterranean cultural history, Jewish history and archaeology, and the history of religion through the senses. Media outlets, including the Daily Beast, Atlas Obscura, NPR, the British Guardian, Ha'aretz, and Chinese CCTV have featured her work; she has served as an invited and keynote lecturer at universities and institutions around the world.

Awards and grants from National Endowment of the Humanities, Archaeological Institute of America, Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem), Getty Villa (Malibu), and Le Centre d'Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) have supported Professor Stern's fieldwork, academic projects, and publications. She received her A.B. in Classics from Dartmouth College and her A.M. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University.

Professor Stern's second book, "Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity" (Princeton University Press 2018) won the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in 2020 (Category: Jews and the Arts) from the Association for Jewish Studies. Her current book project considers the daily lives of Jews in antiquity.


October 24, 2022

“Bridges Between East and West” with poet Ronny Someck

Renowned poet Ronny Someck will be at UNC for a reading of his poetry, with translations offered in English.  This lecture is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor through an endowed lectureship in Sephardic Judaism and is co-sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, UNC Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, UNC Center for Middle East & Islamic Studies, North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies, Duke Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.

RONNY SOMECK was born in Baghdad in 1951 and came to Israel as a young child. He has published 13 volumes of poetry (The last called "so much god ") and two books for children with Shirly Someck. He has been translated into 44 languages. Selections of his poems have appeared in Arabic translation, French, Catalan, Albanian, Italian, Macedonian, Yiddish, Croatian, Nepali, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, Germen, Turkish, Russian and English. His book "the milk underground" (White Pine Press) was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation 2015 USA. He is recipient of the "Wine poem award" in Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia, 2005 and Hans Berghhuis prize for poetry 2006, Holland. He has been awarded the Cross of The Order of The Knights of Poland and the knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France.


October 24, 2022

Shalom, Friends: Friendship, Honesty, and Loyalty with Miriam Anzovin

Jewish Life at Duke is delighted to welcome Miriam Anzovin to Duke. A woman with many creative and intellectual skills, she is a writer, visual artist, and a content creator on TikTok and other social media platforms. Her work encourages her audience to engage with Jewish literature, history, and tradition in creative and dynamic ways authentic to each individual, no matter their level of knowledge, belief, or observance.

Creator of the viral "Daf Reactions" TikTok series, Anzovin has been featured in publications such as HeyAlma, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, and The Forward, and podcasts and other media such as The Shalom Hartman Institute's "Identity/Crisis," "Chutzpod," "Can We Talk?", and more.

Anzovin is the very first artist in residence at Moishe House, a global organization that serves as a home for the young adult Jewish community. She has also hosted her own podcast, "The Vibe of the Tribe," interviewing individuals from a wide array of professions including rabbis, athletes, and comedians, and getting their take on Judaism.

This event takes place at Freeman Center for Jewish Life and is co-hosted by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.


October 26, 2022

Film Screening: “The Law in These Parts” with Director, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz

Internationally-acclaimed director, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, returns to Duke for a special screening of his film, “The Law in These Parts.”   This special event, co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at FHI, will be followed by Q&A with Mr. Alexandrowicz. 

Ra'anan Alexandrowicz is a director, screenwriter and editor. He is known for the documentary The Law in These Parts (2011), which received the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, a Peabody award, and numerous other prizes. His earlier documentaries, The Inner Tour (2001) and Martin (1999), were shown in the Berlin Film Festival's Forum section and MoMA's New Directors / New Films series. Alexandrowicz's single fiction feature, James' Journey to Jerusalem (2003), premiered in Cannes Directors' Fortnight and at the Toronto International Film Festival and received several international awards. He also directed the 2019 documentary film The Viewing Booth. Alexandrowicz's films have been released theatrically in the United States and Europe, and broadcast by PBS, Arte, the BBC, as well as other television channels. He served several times as an editing adviser for the Sundance Documentary Fund.


October 30, 2022

Antisemitism: A Conference

Ostad Undergraduate Fellow, Danya Belkin (Trinity ’25), brings together students, scholars, and activists in this conference that she will organize as part of her Research Fellowship.   Ms. Alyza Lewin, President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, will be the keynote speaker, with presentations by Ms. Belkin, as well as Duke Law Professor, Diane Kunz and other students.  The focus of the Ms. Belkin’s conference is to unite and foster greater understanding of other minority groups on campus and the Jewish community to find “common ground,” while discussing the intersection of anti-Semitism and Zionism/anti-Zionism. 


November 7, 2022

Yossi Klein Halevi

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies welcomes back Yossi Klein Halevi, to engage in a conversation with Imam Abdullah Antepli on the state of Israel.

Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, he co-directs the Institute's Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), which teaches emerging young Muslim American leaders about Judaism, Jewish identity and Israel.

A reception and book signing will follow the conversation.


November 10, 2022

Duke Center for Jewish Studies at 50: New Vistas

Join us as we continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies. Hear presentations from rising scholars whose work will shape Jewish Studies on the global stage in the coming decades, and enjoy curated highlights from the Duke Libraries that make such research possible. Items from Rubenstein Library will be displayed in an exhibit case and The Mary Duke Biddle Room will be open to visitors.


November 15, 2022

Film Screening: “Where is Anne Frank” with Director, Ari Folman

Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman emerged from the 1982 Lebanon War with only vague memories of the horrors he had witnessed during his service. After nearly a decade as one of the top writers and directors for Israeli television, he began to reconstruct his experience after speaking with a fellow veteran about recurring nightmares he was having about the war. The conversation led to interviews with other vets, as well as intensive therapy on the part of Folman, all of which led to the creation of Waltz with Bashir (2008), his documentary about the violence that swept through a generation of young Israeli soldiers as a result of the war. The film, which told its stories through animation, struck a nerve with international viewers and critics, who made it one of the most acclaimed features of the year, and in turn, boosted Folman's profile as an artist with a unique and uncompromising vision.

Co-Sponsored by the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES); Center for Documentary Studies (CDS); Cinematic Arts; History


November 20, 2022

NCJSS Welcomes Nathaniel Deutsch

Nathaniel Deutsch is professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he holds the Baumgarten Chair in Jewish Studies. He is the author of numerous books, including—among others—The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World, Inventing America's "Worst" Family: Eugenics, Islam, and the Fall and Rise of the Tribe of Ishmael, The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and which won a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies, and, with Michael Casper, A Fortress in Brooklyn: Race, Real Estate, and the Making of Hasidic Brooklyn, which won a National Jewish Book Award


November 29, 2022

Dara Horn

Dara Horn is the award-winning author of six books, including the novels In the Image (Norton 2002), The World to Come (Norton 2006), All Other Nights (Norton 2009), A Guide for the Perplexed (Norton 2013), and Eternal Life (Norton 2018), and the essay collection People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present (Norton 2021). One of Granta magazine's Best Young American Novelists (2007), she is the recipient of two National Jewish Book Awards, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, the Harold U. Ribalow Award, and the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, and she was a finalist for the Wingate Prize, the Simpson Family Literary Prize, and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books, Booklist's 25 Best Books of the Decade, and San Francisco Chronicle's Best Books of the Year, and have been translated into eleven languages. Her nonfiction work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Jewish Review of Books, among many other publications, and she is a regular columnist for Tablet Magazine. Horn received her doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, studying Yiddish and Hebrew. She has taught courses in these subjects at Sarah Lawrence College and Yeshiva University, and held the Gerald Weinstock Visiting Professorship in Jewish Studies at Harvard. She has lectured for audiences in hundreds of venues throughout North America, Israel, and Australia. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.

A book signing and public reception will follow this event.


December 4, 2022

NCJSS Welcomes Teresa Walch

Teresa Walch is a historian of modern Europe and modern Germany with research and teaching interests in social and cultural history, urban history and urbanism, human geography, Holocaust studies, and world and transnational history. She is an assistant professor of modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Walch received an MA (2015) and PhD (2018) in modern European history from the University of California, San Diego with minors in urban history and global history. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Hebrew University's Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center (2018-19) and a Zvi Yavetz postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University and a visiting fellow of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism (2019-20).


January 29, 2023

NCJSS welcomes Laura Jockusch: A Jewish Mata Hari?

Professor Laura Jockusch's research and teaching interests include 20th-century European Jewish history; history, historiography, and memory of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust; and the history of Holocaust survivors and the rebuilding of Jewish life in the postwar era. Professor Jockusch's current research projects examine Jewish conceptions of retributive justice after the Holocaust and explore Jewish involvement in Nazi war crime trials and ideas and manifestations of revenge during and after the Holocaust. She is on the editorial board of Revue d'histoire de la Shoah and Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry and a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Professor Jockusch's publications include her book, Collect and Record! Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe(winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust and co-winner of the German Studies Association's Sybil Halpern Milton Prize for the Best Book Dealing with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust); the edited volumes, Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust (with Gabriel Finder; finalist of the National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust); Revenge, Retribution, Reconciliation: Justice and Emotions between Conflict and Mediation, a Cross-Disciplinary Anthology, with Andreas Kraft and Kim Wünschmann; and most recently, the critical edition of historical documents, Khurbn-Forshung: Documents on Early Holocaust Research in Postwar Poland [Archive of Jewish History and Culture 6].


February 6, 2023

Zvi Ben-Dor Benite

Duke is delighted to welcome back Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Network Faculty Planning and Professor of History at New York University for this special lunch seminar.

Zvi Ben-Dor Benite received his Ph.D. in history from UCLA in 2000. Focusing on the question of interaction between religions in world history, he is the author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2005); of The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford, 2009); and co-editor of Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Culture, and Politics (Brandeis, 2013). Ben-Dor Benite is currently working on an edited volume on Sovereignty (forthcoming with Columbia University Press), and on a monograph Crescent China: Islam and the Nation After Empire (for Oxford University Press).


February 9, 2023

What is Multilingualism?

"What is multilingualism?" is part of the Global Jewish Modernism Lab.  This, the fourth in the What is… dialogue series features Lital Levy (Princeton), Monique Balbuena (University of Oregon), Dominika Baran (Duke), and Helen Solterer (Duke).

What is… Dialogue Series:  Each dialogue involves the examination of one term and its representation and use in diverse geographical and historical contexts, both within Jewish Studies and outside of it. Each conversation involves at least two scholars, one from Duke and one from another institution.

Global Jewish Modernism is a Humanities Unbounded Collaborative Project in German and Romance Studies at Duke. 


February 10, 2023

Jewish Literature, World Literature: A Global Jewish Modernism Conference

Global Jewish Modernism presents a conference on Jewish Literature, World Literature.

Presentations include:

Allison Schachter (Vanderbilt): Women’s Internationalism and Jewish World Literature

Shai Ginsburg (Duke): World Literature, Jewish Literature, and the Question of the Law

Lital Levy (Princeton): World Literature, Translation, and Diaspora: The Global Journey of Aguilar’s The Vale of Cedars

Adi Nester (UNC Chapel Hill): A Nation from Translation: Rudolf Borchardt Between German, Jewish, and World Literature

Monique Balbuena (University of Oregon): Transnational Sephardic Poetry

Saskia Ziolkowski (Duke): Modern Jewish Italian Writing as World Literature

Global Jewish Modernism is a Humanities Unbounded Collaborative Project in German and Romance Studies at Duke. 


February 19, 2023

Duke CJS 50th Anniversary Celebration, with guest of honor, Eric Meyers

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies celebrates 50 years at Duke with the launch of Eric Meyers' memoir An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir. Professor Meyers will have a conversation with special guest and Duke alum, Professor Benjamin Gordon, about why he wrote his memoir, followed by a celebratory gala reception.