Religion Professor Laura Lieber, Assistant Director of the Duke Center for Jewish Studies will present her paper "The Play's the Thing": Theatricality in Aramaic Piyyutim at this year's International Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Meeting held in Amsterdam. She will give her paper in a session entitled "Early Judaism and Rabbinics" to be held on July 25, from 9-12.
Liturgical poems not only “translate” biblical narratives into poetry; they do so for a performative context. In this paper, I will examine a selection of Aramaic piyyutim which retell biblical episodes—including the Binding of Isaac, Joseph in Egypt, and the death of Joab—from the perspective of their theatricality. In specific, I will examine the rhetoric and discourse of the poems both in comparison to the prose texts which inspired them and as performance pieces in their own right, and I will situate the poems in the context of Late Ancient theater more broadly.
More information about the international conference can be found at: http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Internationalmeeting.aspx