Lezingenprogramma academiejaar 2015-2016

Lezingenprogramma 1ste semester 2015-2016 (PDF)

Lezingenprogramma 2de semester 2015-2016 (PDF)

Aangepast programma 19 november 2015
De voorziene lezing van Ds. Peter Janssen over Joods-Christelijke dialoog in Israël werd vervangen door de lezing
“How ‘Jewish’ were the Writings and Identity of Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin?” Reflections on a Title
Prof. dr. Vivian Liska (Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Antwerp)

What does it mean to speak of figures like Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin as Jewish authors and thinkers? How justified is it to call their writings “Jewish”? The lecture addresses fundamental questions concerning the adjective “Jewish” applied to modernist authors and texts in general, and to Kafka and Benjamin more specifically. Concrete examples from the writings of these two major figures of the German-Jewish tradition will illustrate the approach taken in this lecture.

Vivian Liska is Professor of German literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is also, since 2013, Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her research focuses on modernist literature, German-Jewish literature and culture, and literary theory. She is the editor of the De Gruyter book series “Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts,” and co-editor of numerous journals and books. Her recent book publications include Giorgio Agamben’s Empty Messianism and When Kafka Says We. Uncommon Communities in German-Jewish Literature. Her book German-Jewish Thought and its Aftermath: A Tenuous Legacy will be published with Indiana University Press in 2016.


Aangepast programma 3 december 2015
De voorziene lezing van Prof. Avinoam Patt over "Second Generation" Holocaust Testimony werd vervangen door de voorstelling van de documentaire Mr. Rakowski van Jan Diederen met inleiding door Prof. Philippe Codde (UGent).
Auschwitz and After: Mr. Rakowski’s Story

Traumatic experiences affect not only the victims who personally experience the horror, but also their children and grandchildren. But how is this possible? How can a trauma be transmitted to the next generation? And what exactly are the symptoms suffered by the second generation? The documentary Mr. Rakowski (dir. Jan Diederen) helps to shed some light on these questions. Auschwitz survivor Sam Rakowski and his son Richard testify – independently – about the traumas that have marked their lives: Sam about surviving Auschwitz, Richard about surviving Sam. As such, the film tells a powerful story about a fraught father-son relationship, a story about deeply felt pain and redemption, of suffering, but also of hope and optimism. What Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah is for first-generation testimony, Mr. Rakowski could very well be for the second generation. The documentary will be introduced by Prof. Philippe Codde (Ghent University). After the documentary, there will be a Q&A session with the filmmaker, Jan Diederen.

Jan Diederen is a director, investigative journalist and producer that worked/works  for several Dutch nationwide public TV channels and as an independent producer and director of documentaries. Since 1995 he has filmed all over the world focusing on culture, science, human interest and philosophy. Working with international productions he has produced in the Netherlands for BBC. He was honoured with the position of interviewer for the ‘Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation’ , established by Steven Spielberg to document the experiences of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Jan Diederen holds a Masters of Contemporary History.

Philippe Codde is currently a visiting professor of American literature at Ghent University. He holds degrees from Ghent, Antwerp, and Fordham University, New York. He is the author of The Jewish American Novel (Purdue University Press, 2007) and has published widely on Jewish American literature in journals such as Modern Fiction Studies, Studies in American Fiction, Partial Answers, Yiddish, and Poetics Today. At Ghent University, he teaches several courses on American literature and American culture.

Aangepast programma 10 maart 2016
De voorziene lezing van Prof. Reinier Munk over Moses Mendelssohn werd vervangen door de lezing van Drs. Dennis Baert (Instituut voor Joodse Studies)
De woning en de gastvrijheid: Levinas en de vluchtelingencrisis anders gelezen

In de huidige vluchtelingencrisis wordt vaak verwezen naar Emmanuel Levinas. Een terughoudendheid tegenover een grenzeloze gastvrijheid tegenover vluchtelingen wordt dan gezien als een falen in het zich openstellen voor de “Ander” en de oneindige ethische eis waarmee die “Ander” ons confronteert. Een zulke politieke recuperatie reduceert zijn complexe analyse van de menselijke conditie en de grondslag van de ethiek tot een pseudo-wijsgerig sjibolet waarmee men vooral de eigen “morele deugdelijkheid” benadrukt. Het paradoxale gevolg hiervan is dat Levinas vaak gezien wordt als een filosoof die de politieke werkelijkheid niet ernstig kan denken. Het is echter mijn stelling dat het denken van Levinas een waardevol instrument kan zijn om de vluchtelingenproblematiek en de Europese identiteitscrisis die ze naar boven heeft gebracht te begrijpen. Concreet wil ik doorheen een grondige lezing van zijn fenomenologische analyse van “de woning” en de vorm waarin de medemens daar verschijnt, aantonen dat de ethiek van Levinas een filosofie van de particuliere politieke gemeenschap vooronderstelt die een serieuze uitdaging vormt voor de gangbare politieke interpretaties van zijn denken en een verhelderend licht kan werpen op de vluchtelingencrisis en het huidige Europese onbehagen errond.

Dennis Baert is Master in de Rechten en de Wijsbegeerte en studeerde aan de K.U. Leuven, de Humboldt Universität zu Berlin en St. Edmunds College, University of Cambridge. Hij is verbonden aan het Instituut voor Joodse Studies van de Universiteit Antwerpen waar hij onderzoek verricht naar politieke theologie en de 20ste-eeuwse Joodse filosofie. Hij doceert tevens Joodse filosofie, godsdienst en geschiedenis aan de Universiteit Antwerpen en het Johannes XXIII Seminarie te Leuven. Hij is o.a. co-auteur van het boek Het Beloofde Land, verschenen bij Averbode en is bestuurslid en penningmeester van het Institutum Judaicum.


Extra lezing/concert op dinsdag 5 juli 2016
Last Yiddish Heroes: Lost and Found Songs of Soviet Jews during World War II
Hof van Liere, Prinsstraat 13, 20u00

Singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko and historian Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto) bring to life “lost” Yiddish songs of World War II in this all-new concert and lecture program. Collected by Moshe Beregovsky and other scientists of the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture, these previously unknown Yiddish songs were confiscated and hidden by the Soviet government in 1949, and have only recently come to light. The lecture/concert  features the performance and incredible stories behind these treasures.

Pavel Lion, a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko, is one of Russia’s most popular – and clever – songwriters, as well as a pre-eminent Yiddish singer. He is a Moscow based singer/songwriter, translator, scholar and journalist. Self-referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard'', he is known for his multilingual one-person cabaret-esque shows, which balance folk and klezmer music, free-style poetry and intellectual comedy. Psoy writes and sings in English, Russian, Yiddish, and French. On stage since 2000, he has published one book of selected essays and song lyrics ''The Hit Of The Century'', and 14 CDs – some of them in collaboration with active Jewish and Klezmer musicians ("Opa!", Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, "Oy Division"). Psoy is a member of the organizing committee for a Russian American music festival JetLAG, a guest of many klezmer music festivals, and an ex-artist in residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). An author of insightful and sophisticated Russian sung poetry, Psoy is also known for his keen and explorative vision of the art of translation, “tradaptation” and what he calls Spell-Art (i.e. playing with foreign text, emphasizing linguistic distances, multilingual songs etc).

Anna Shternshis holds the position of Al and Malka Green Associate Professor of Yiddish studies at the University of Toronto. She is also the Acting Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her doctoral degree (D.Phil) in Modern Languages and Literatures from Oxford University in 2001. Shternshis is the author of Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923 - 1939 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006). Her second book tentatively entitled When Sonia Met Boris: Jewish Daily Life in Soviet Russia is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2016. She is currently working on the book-length study of evacuation and escape of Soviet Jews during World War II. Her first article on the topic, entitled “Between Life and Death: Why Some Soviet Jews Decided to Leave and Others Chose to Stay Home in 1941” appeared in Kritika in summer 2014. She is the author of twenty articles on topics of Russian Jewish culture and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora. Shternshis is a co-editor-in-chief of East European Jewish Affairs and a stand-in board member of Oxford Bibliographies Online in Jewish studies.

Picture credit © Dan Rosenberg