This is a guest post by Laura Lechner
The Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) at the University of Minnesota is hosting a symposium, “Semi(o)te Xt: Reading Jewishness Between the Text,” on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at the Regis Center for the Arts on the University of Minnesota West Bank. This one-day symposium/workshop will explore how poets and media artists think about, produce, and enact Jewishness in their texts.
Seven poets and media-artists will read/perform their work and engage in critical discussion about the permutations and fluidities of Jewish texts. In addition, they will participate in panel discussions, led by prominent members of the University and greater communities.
One focus of the symposium will be to explore how this textual presence enables a shifting and changing of Jewishness–different ways of enacting Jewishness in a range of media.
The first presenter will be Jake Marmer, a poet and performer who often collaborates with musicians; recently, he launched and co-hosted North America’s first Jewish Poetry retreat at the KlezKanada Festival.
Adeena Karasick will also perform in the morning. She is an internationally acclaimed and award winning poet, media-artist and author of seven books of poetry and poetic theory.
Erica Kaufman is the author of the full-length poetry collection censory impulse; she also teaches at Baruch College and is a faculty associate of Bard College’s Institute for Writing & Thinking.
Joy Ladin is a professor of English at Yeshiva University, and is also the author of a memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, which was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award.
Elliott Malkin is an artist whose work explores the intersection of memory, information, and physical space; but he spends most of his time researching and reconstructing his family’s history, the bulk of which can be seen at www.dziga.com.
Benjamin Friedlander is a poet and author who teaches American literature and poetics at the University of Maine.
The final presenter will be Rachel Tzvia Back, a poet, translator, and professor of literature, who lives in the Galilee.
Back is the editor and primary translator of the English version of the anthology With an Iron Pen: Twenty Years of Hebrew Protest Poetry – a collection named “haunting” and “historic” by Adrienne Rich.
The event is being organized by University of Minnesota professors Leslie Morris and Maria Damon. Morris, a faculty member in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch, says that the symposium “will be the first ever event of this kind west of the Hudson. It will be a fantastic opportunity to see and hear some truly cutting-edge performers and thinkers.”
This guest post was written by Laura Lechner, the Outreach and Program Coordinator at the Center for Jewish Studies. For more information about this event, contact Laura at [email protected] or at 612-624-4914.