The Chicago Center for Jewish Studies was created in 2009 as an inter-divisional center in the Divisions of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Divinity School whose aim is to nurture dialogue among the many disciplines, scholars, and students engaged in Jewish Studies at the University. Building on the particularly theoretical and interdisciplinary intellectual culture of Chicago, the Center aims to raise new questions and catalyze unexplored connections that will reconfigure the boundaries of Jewish Studies both within and beyond the walls of the University.
Jewish Studies ranges from the ancient world to today, from Israel to the ends of the Diaspora, from Hebrew to Arabic and Yiddish. Its literatures, peoples, religious traditions, history, and culture are investigated in every discipline in the human sciences. The University of Chicago is a leading center of multidisciplinary scholarship and education in Jewish Studies. Our faculty and students pursue the varied fields of Jewish Studies in departments such as Germanics, History, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Philosophy, Political Science, Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Committee on Social Thought, and in the Divinity School. The University boasts special strengths in the interdisciplinary constellations of Bible, ancient Near Eastern history and archeology, and the history of scriptural interpretation; medieval Jewish thought and intellectual history; German-Jewish literature and culture; and modern Jewish history, philosophy, and culture.
The Center is also engaged in developing new models for undergraduate education in Jewish Studies and new institutional structures to enhance graduate students’ departmental training. It also serves as a hub to coordinate and publicize the many resources in Jewish Studies available at the University, and it guides students to them. It coordinates the awarding of dissertation year fellowships and provides undergraduate and graduate student travel and research grants.
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