One of the finest literary scholars of the 20th century, David Daiches combined mastery of the history and practice of literary criticism with wit and eloquence both at the podium and on the printed page. He produced creative literature of his own, not least in Two Worlds his memoirs of a Jewish childhood in Edinburgh and, in A Third World, his later academic life in the US. He made his mark, however, as a teacher, critic and historian of English literature. The son of Rabbi Salis Daiches, he was educated at George Watson’s College and Edinburgh University before going south to a Fellowship at Balliol where he later completed his Doctorate on the Hebrew sources of the King James Bible. In 1937, having gone to Chicago University as assistant professor of English, he left for New York in 1943 to work for the British Information Service (an arm of MI6) before becoming 2nd Secretary at our Embassy in Washington DC. Here has was a colleague of Sir Isaiah Berlin under the coldly patrician gaze of Lord Halifax. After the war, Daiches and his family went to Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY as Professor of English, before returning to the UK in 1951 as Lecturer in English at Jesus College, Oxford. He produced a stream of literary biographies on such as Milton, R.L. Stevenson, Scott and Robert Burns – as well as his masterly A Critical History of English Literature. He retired to Edinburgh in 1977 after more than a decade as Head of English at Sussex University and became an early Director of IASH at his alma mater. He died in 2004, full of years and honours having rounded off his remarkable career with such works as A Companion to Scottish Culture – and on one of its more sobering ingredients; Scotch Whisky… In this lecture, Professor David Purdie will review the life and works of David Daiches, drawing out his contributions to literary scholarship as well as to the development of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.
We gratefully acknowledge the following grants received in support of the conference:
- the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS).
- the Astaire Seminar Series in Jewish Studies.
Call for Papers:
From the earliest accounts travel and migration, movement across space and time characterise Jewish history. No less crucial than the movement of people is the movement of texts, objects, and ideas, which travel both physically and intellectually as generations in distant locations engage with these at different times and places. Jews themselves are associated with travel and migration, historically and in cultural production. This conference invites contributions of papers and panel proposals within the broad theme of the conference. What follows is a list of thematic headings which is indicative, but not exhaustive:
- Jews and migration
- Jews in / and the archive
- Texts which move
- Jewish journeys, journeys of Jews
- Literary explorations of travel, movements, and migration and their consequences
- Displaying Jews: museums, heritage, art
- Jewish objects: from vernacular and ritual to display and memory
As usual with BAJS conferences, papers on topics unrelated to the conference theme are also welcome, including proposals by graduate students wishing to present on their doctoral research.
Travel bursaries for postgraduate students from outwith the UK can be applied for at a later date.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Professor Charlotte Hempel (Birmingham): People and ideas on the move: the evidence from Qumran
- Professor Tony Kushner (Southampton): Jews as refugees: special or not?
- Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York / Warsaw): Expanded Geography: An Epilogue to the History of Polish Jews at POLIN Museum
- Professor Hana Wirth-Nesher (Tel Aviv): To Move, to Translate, To Write: Jewish American Immigrant Voices
Paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a speaker biography of 100 words max.
Panel proposals should include a rationale for the panel of no more than 500 words, abstracts of 300 words max for each paper proposed as part of the panel and speaker biographies of no more than 100 words.
Speakers are allocated 30min for their presentation and questions following the paper. Usually papers are c.20min in length, allowing for 10min of questions and discussion.
Please send paper and panel proposals and all conference-related correspondence to: BAJS2017@ed.ac.uk.
Deadline for submission of paper and panel proposals:
- 31 January 2017.
Confirmation of acceptance of proposals will be emailed by 31 March 2017.
Conference booking will open in mid-April.
All catering provided at the conference will be vegetarian. If you are unable to eat a vegetarian diet please email BAJS2017@ed.ac.uk with your dietary requirements by 3 April 2017. Please be aware, that we are unable to guarantee at this point that we will be able to cater for your specific dietary needs.
Martin Hall, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX
The plain, unadorned character of the first-century synagogues excavated in Israel in recent decades differs significantly from that of the synagogues lavishly decorated with mosaic floors which were built in the centuries after Constantine initiated the Christian creation of the “Holy Land.” These aspects of synagogal architectural and artistic composition display differing concepts of sacred space—concepts which reflect important changes in the nature of worship and liturgical activity in Judaism. This talk aims to read the material culture found in archaeological excavations of these two synagogue types and to suggest how those readings might shape our research into them.
An event jointly organised by The Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, The Jewish Studies Network, and the Religious Studies Research Seminar.