A Conference at the University of Chicago, April 15-16th, 2010Posts RSS Comments RSS


Maya Barzilai (University of Michigan)

Maya Barzilai received her Ph.D. in from the University of California, Berkeley (2009); her dissertation is entitled Anatomies of Creation: Reviving the Golem in Times of War and Death. She is currently an assistant professor of Modern Hebrew and Jewish culture at the University of Michigan. In 2007-2008, she was a research fellow at the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Freie Universität. Her fields of interest include post-war (Jewish) visual culture, German-Hebrew bilingualism and translation (especially in the writings of S. Y. Agnon and Avraham Ben-Yitzhak), and theories of the lyric. She has published on the intersections of text and image and on models of memory and history in the works of W. G. Sebald (“Facing the Past and the Female Spectre in W. G. Sebald’s The Emigrants” and “Melancholia as World History: W. G. Sebald’s Rewriting of Hegel in Die Ringe des Saturn”), and has collaboratively written on “The Challenge of Lyric Address in War Poems by Ingeborg Bachmann and Yitzhak Laor.”

Michal Ben-Horin (University of Florida)

Michael Brenner (University of Munich)

Michael Brenner received his Ph.D from Columbia University. He has previously taught at the Universities of Indiana and Brandeis, and has served as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Mainz, Budapest and Stanford. He serves as Chairman of the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo Baeck Institute in Deutschland. His publications include “The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar Germany”, “After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Post-war Germany” and “Zionism: A Brief History”.

Amir Eshel (Stanford University)

Abigail Gilman (Boston University)

Michal Govrin (Novelist and Poet, Jerusalem)

Nitzan Lebovic (Franz Rosenzweig Center, Jerusalem)

Nitzan Lebovic wrote his dissertation about the “Politicization of German Life-Philosophy” (UCLA, 2005). He is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Minerva-Rosenzweig Center, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Nitzan has published articles on different topics in German and German-Jewish history and philosophy, as well as on history and theory of film. He edited special issues of the New German Critique (Political Theology, Fall 2008), and Zmanim: The Tel Aviv Journal of History (Between Faith and Power, Summer 2008). He was recently appointed as an editor at the Israeli journal for critical theory, Teoria u’vikoret. Nitzan is guiding research groups at the Van Leer Institute (Nihilism and the limits of political Critique) and  the Israel Institute for Democracy (Political Education).

Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp)

Vivian LISKA is Professor of German Literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is an editor of the journal for comparative literature arcadia and a member of the ICLA coordinating commission and the boards of the Walter Benjamin Society and the Society of European Jewish Literatures. She is currently a fellow at the Center of Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on German and comparative modernist literature, post-1945 poetry (Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs) and literary and cultural theory (Blanchot, Adorno, Benjamin, Arendt). In her recent work she explores the potential impact of literature on the political imagination and the implications of the turn to political theology in contemporary theory.

Main Book Publications: As editor: Modernism in the ICLA series “History of the European Literatures” (with Astradur Eysteinsson) (2007), The Power of the Sirens (with Arthur Cools) (2007), Theodor Herzl between Europe and Zion (with Mark Gelber) (2007), Contemporary Jewish Writing in Europe (with Thomas Nolden) (2007), What does the Veil Know? (with Eva Meyer) (2009), Walter Benjamin und das Wiener Judentum (with Bernd Witte), Messianism, Kabbalah, Politics. Giorgio Agamben and Walter Benjamin (forthcoming). She is currently preparing a collection of essays on Walter Benjamin derived from the conference “Walter Benjamins Treue – True to Walter Benjamin” and developing a project on the concept of a European Literature.

As author: The Night of the Hymns (On Paul Celan’s early poetry), The Tricksteresque Sublime (On Else Lasker-Schüler); ‘Modernism – a Woman (On turn of the century women novelists) and, most recently, Giorgio Agamben’s Empty Messianism and When Kafka says We. Uncommon Communities in  German-Jewish Literature (2009.) She is currently working on a book about Giorgio Agamben and Jewish thought and on a project about Kafka and Philosophy.

Sebastian Wogenstein (University of Connecticut)

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