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Figural Jews: Jewish Identity in Modern Literature and Philosophy

Center for Jewish Studies

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM - Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM (CDT)

Minneapolis, MN

Figural Jews: Jewish Identity in Modern Literature and...

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Event Details

The goal of this symposium is to reflect on the question of Jew as metaphor in theology, philosophy, history, literature, literary theory and film. “Troping” the Jew has a long history that can be traced back to Paul and the overcoming of the letter/law. The Jew “in the spirit,” the Jew “in the heart,” arguably designates the first avatar of the “figural Jew.”

Pauline dialectic (the replacement of law with faith, of flesh with spirit) had a considerable influence on Christian Europe and shaped European anti-Judaism. It has been argued that in secular Europe, the Pauline paradigm persists to inform ways of engaging with Jews in the contemporary era (e.g., in thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben or Alain Badiou). The symposium will probe the historical, literary and philosophical limits of the figural use of Jews.

Six scholars from across the U.S.  will present at the symposium, which will include a keynote address by Sarah Hammerschlag (University of Chicago), author of The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought.

Other speakers include:


Organized by the Center for Jewish Studies, this event is made possible by the Knapp Family Foundation.  Co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study, and the departments of Philosophy, French & Italian, History, and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature.

The symposium is from 1-5pm on Thursdsay, April 17th, and 9-12pm on Friday, April 18th.  Your registration is valid for both days, but you do not need to attend both sessions.  No need to print off a paper ticket - we will check you in at the door.

For directions and parking information, please click here 

To view the schedule for Thursday, please click here.

To view the schedule for Friday, please click here.  

Have questions about Figural Jews: Jewish Identity in Modern Literature and Philosophy? Contact Center for Jewish Studies

When & Where


Weisman Art Museum
333 E River Pkwy
William G. Shepherd Room
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM - Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM (CDT)


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