The Avant-Garde and the Jews

International conference
2-4 February 2015
University of Antwerp, Hof van Liere
Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen

In the last decade, a number of studies in various disciplines have addressed the role of Jewish topics and motifs taken from the Judaic tradition, Jewish avant-garde movements, and Jewish artists belonging to the avant-garde. However, today the phenomenon as such still remains largely uncharted even though the level of participation by Jewish avant-garde artists in literature, visual arts, theatre and film has been strikingly high. In literature, Jewish involvement in the avant-garde covers not only avant-garde texts produced in Jewish languages (Yiddish, Hebrew) but also works in other languages by artists of Jewish descent. The reasons for the considerable impact of Jewish artists within avant-garde movements were varied, as were the ways in which the Jewish origin of these artists manifests itself in their work.

This conference will deal with the significance of the avant-garde(s) for modern Jewish culture and the impact of the Jewish tradition on the artistic production of the avant-garde, be they reinterpretations of literary, artistic, philosophical or theological texts/traditions, or novel theoretical openings linked to elements from Judaism or Jewish culture, thought, or history.

Keynote speakers:
Prof. dr. Steven Aschheim (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Prof. dr. Mark Gelber (Ben Gurion University)
Prof. dr. Alfred Bodenheimer (University of Basel)

With the support of Universiteit & Samenleving (University of Antwerp)


Mailing address: IJS
University of Antwerp
Prinsstraat 13 L.400
2000 Antwerp