The Modern Jewess: Image and Text

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    "Portrait of Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso"

    1905-6, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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    Sarah Silverman

    Rolling Stone, 2011

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    "Portrait of Almina Daughter of Asher Wertheimer"

    By John Singer Sargent, 1908, Tate

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    "Finding Home No.46 (Tikkun ha-Olam)"

    By Siona Benjamin, 2000

A one-day conference co-hosted by the Center for Jewish Civilization and the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University.

About the conference:

“I am a Jewess,” proclaims Mirah Lapidoth on first meeting Daniel Deronda in George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871-2), “Do you despise me for it?” From Gertrude Stein to Lena Dunham “Jewesses” continue to be a ubiquitous presence in high art and popular culture. Yet representations of Jewesses have received limited critical attention, especially in comparison to their masculine counterparts. 

This major international conference seeks to subject modern incarnations of the Jewess to new critical examination. Bringing together researchers and artists, we will endeavor to reexamine, reimagine, and even reinvent the contested category of the Jewess in art, literature and film. With the aim of interrogating (and perhaps reclaiming) the term ‘Jewess’ we will ask: who and what is meant by the term? Is it celebratory or derogatory? And what gender, racial and religious stereotypes are at stake in an examination of the Jewess and her representation?

RSVP and Details:

Feburary 1st, 2018 from 8am to 7pm in the Copley Formal Lounge at Georgetown University. 

You can RSVP for the conference here

conference schedule:

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM     Coffee and Tea

9:00 AM     Keren Hammerschlag (Georgetown): "'Your favorite Jewish girl, apart from your mum': Introducing the Modern Jewess"

9:15 AM     Cassie Herbert (Hobart and William Smith Colleges): "'Jewess': What's in a Name?"

9:45 AM     Susan Sidlauskas (Rutgers), “A ‘highly strung temperament, features of exceptional distinction and refinement—and instinct with pride of race.’  John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Lady Sassoon, 1907.” with respondse by Juliet Bellow (American University)

10:45 AM     Coffee and Tea Break

11:00 AM     Poet Lynn Levin in Conversation with David Ebenbach (Georgetown): “The Many Modern Lives of Lilith”

12:00 PM     Artist Siona Benjamin in Conversation with Ori Soltes (Georgetown): "Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin"

1:00 PM     Lunch (vegetarian)

2:00 PM     Lori Harrison-Kahan (Boston College): “'Her religion had always lain lightly upon her:' Emma Wolf, Miriam Michelson, and the California Jewess” with response by Jacques Berlinerblau (Georgetown)

3:00 PM     Tahneer Oksman (Marymount Manhattan College), "Drawing on Grief in Jewish Women's Visual Memoirs" with response by Linday Kaplan (Georgetown)

4:00 PM     Coffee

4:30 PM     Chantal Ringuet, "The Modern Jewish Poetess Across Continents" with response by Eli Rosenblatt (Georgetown)

5:00 PM     Concluding Remarks