Liminal Spaces and the Jewish Imagination Conference

The Venice Ghetto serves as the starting point from which we address questions of modern Jewish spaces –a site that has played a central role in Jewish and European culture since the Jews were sequestered in the Ghetto at its founding in 1516. Contemporary globalization brings into focus the relationship between identity and spatial location, and highlights new and cross-cutting transnational allegiances.


February 18-19, 2015 | Free & Open to the Public
Humanities 1 Building, Room 210, UC Santa Cruz
Directions and Parking Information

Wednesday, February 18 | 5:00-7:00 PM

Liminal Spaces pstr_final5:00-5:30 PM: Opening Remarks

    Murray Baumgarten “The Importance of the Venice Ghetto for Modern Jewish Studies”

5:30-7:00 PM: Sculptural and Literary Israeli Space

  • Amanda Sharick, University of California, Riverside: “Envisioning “Friends” (2011) and “Brotherhood” (2013) in Haifa: Yosl Bergner and Contested Histories of Cooperation/Coercion in ‘Mixed’ City Spaces”
  • Chen Bar-Itzhak, Ben-Gurion University: “The Dissolution of Utopia: Literary Representations of Haifa, from Herzl’s Altneuland to Later Israeli Writing”
  • Respondent: Professor Bruce Thompson, University of California, Santa Cruz


Thursday, February 19 | 9:30-4:30 PM

9:30-11:00 AM: European Jewish Spaces

  • Erica Smeltzer, University of California, Santa Cruz: “Metamorphosis and Other Stories: Narrating Life on the Borders of a Divided City”
  • Professor Peter Kenez, University of California, Santa Cruz: “Jewish Budapest”
  • Professor Emily Finer, University of St. Andrews: “Lev Lunts’ ‘Across the Border’”
  • Respondent: Professor Vilashini Cooppan, University of California Santa Cruz

11:00-11:30 AM – Coffee Break

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: American Jewish Spaces

  • Joanna Meadvin, University of California, Santa Cruz: “An Other Jewish America: Henry Roth discovers Sepharad”
  • Katie Trostel, University of California, Santa Cruz: “Ceques: Networked Jewish Memory in the works of Tununa Mercado (Argentina) and Karina Pacheco Medrano (Peru)”
  • Respondent: Professor Dorian Bell

1:00-2:15PM: Lunch

2:30-4:00PM: Virtual Jewish Spaces

  • Lee Jaffe, University of California, Santa Cruz: “The Jewish Anthology: A Space For Negotiating Jewish Identity”
  • Caroline Luce, University of California, Los Angeles: “Reconstructing the Landscape of Yiddish Culture in “Dos Durem-Land Baym Yam (The Southland by the Sea)”
  • Respondent: Rachel Deblinger, CLIR Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Cruz

4:00-4:30PM: Concluding Remarks & Performance

  • Professor Nathaniel Deutsch
  • Performance by Michael Alpert, klezmer musician

This event was made possible by generous support from the Helen Diller Family Endowment and the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Questions, or for disability related accommodations, please contact or 831-459-5655.

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