Guest speaker: Daniel Boyarin (University of California at Berkeley)
In place of the lachrymose notion of diaspora as a condition of suffering and longing for an alleged homeland, Daniel Boyarin contends that the Babylonian Talmud figures Babylonia as a second homeland for the Jews. In his three lectures, Boyarin will present a new definition for diaspora as a phenomenon in which two or more communities are simultaneously culturally related to one another and to their specific local settings. He will show how the Talmud enacts this new definition in its very form and content and will argue that as it travels through time and space, the Talmud produces ever new diasporic formations.
February 18: Dispersing Diaspora: The Talmud as Diasporist Manifesto
February 19: The Philology of Diaspora: The Talmud Enacts Diaspora
February 21: Searching for the Routes: The Talmud Makes Diasporas
Daniel Boyarin is Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley. He is author of Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture, Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism, and Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity,among other works.
All three lectures will take place at 5:00 in the Terrace Room of Claudia Cohen Hall
A reception, sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program of the University of Pennsylvania, will follow the first lecture on February 18.
This series of three lectures is made possible through a grant of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Press in support of scholarship on cross-cultural contacts.