Judaism, Law and Literature

The Jewish Law Association
18th International Conference
July 14th-17th, 2014
University of Antwerp

The conference "Judaism, Law and Literature" is the 18th International Conference of the Jewish Law Association hosted by the Institute of Jewish Studies (University of Antwerp). It aims to bring people together who in their research address the themes Judaism, Law and Literature, as encompassing both law in literature and law as literature, from both applied and theoretical/methodological and comparative perspectives.

The purpose is to foster interdisciplinary research, as between traditional Jewish law studies (both rabbinical and academic) and the now well-established field of Law and Literature, which draws on both legal (e.g. Dworkin's "chain novel" model) and literary theory (e.g. Stanley Fish, who debated with Dworkin), on issues including, but not limited to, the theory of interpretation. There is existing literature on the relationship between law and narrative within the Hebrew Bible (e.g. Carmichael, who will participate), and on the relationship between legal and narrative elements within the Talmud (also to be addressed by several speakers). The conference will both seek to locate and refine such studies within a broader theoretical perspective, and consider their relationship to post-Talmudic legal studies and contemporary non-religious Jewish literature (e.g. Bialik, I.L. Perets, Kafka, and Benjamin).


Click here to read the conference program.


The conference will take place on the city campus of the University of Antwerp, Building C.
Rooms C.001, C.101, C.102 and C103.
Entrance via Prinsstraat 13 or Grote Kauwenberg 2, 2000 Antwerpen.

Click here for a map of the conference location.

Register (audience)

Click here to register for the conference.

Call for papers (closed)

The next International Meeting of the Jewish Law Association will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, on 14-17 July 2014, hosted by the university's Institute of Jewish Studies directed by Professor Vivian Liska. We are now publishing the following Call for Papers:

The Conference will give preference to papers on the theme "Judaism, Law and Literature", viewed broadly as including papers on any period (law and literature in the Bible, rabbinic literature, and modern secular literature), and as encompassing both law in literature and law as literature, from both applied and theoretical/methodological perspectives. Comparative perspectives will also be welcome.

Papers outside this theme will also be eligible, but the subsequent peer-reviewed conference volume will be confined to papers on the theme; other arrangements will be offered for other papers.

Proposals of papers should be sent to the Chair of the Conference Organising Committee, Professor Bernard Jackson at jacksob@hope.ac.uk by December 31st 2013. They should contain a title and abstract.

The primary language of the conference is English, but papers in other languages may be accepted provided that a full text in English is supplied.

The standard format of the conference will consist of 90 minute sessions divided into 2 x 45 minute slots, in each of which a speaker has a maximum of 35 minutes for presentation, followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Most papers will be presented in parallel sessions (maximum of 3), but there will also be a number of plenary sessions addressed by keynote speakers. There will also be a social/cultural programme.

Proposals for panel sessions, including the names of all panellists (who have been approached and agreed to participate) will also be considered. Either 45 or 90 minute slots may be allocated to them, depending on the number of panellists and allowing for adequate interaction with the audience. The conference Organising Committee will decide whether they are timetable as plenary or parallel session.

The registration fee for the conference will be modest (details to be announced in November), but those giving papers will be required to be current members of the Association.

For the conference booklet from the Yale 2012 International Conference, including abstracts and bios of the speakers, click here.