Author: Pamela Weathers

Forms of Authoritarianism: A One-Day Conference, Sept. 20, 2018

Forms of AuthoritarianismOn Thursday, September 20, from 9:30-4:00 pm, the UConn American Studies program will host a one-day conference on "The Forms of Authoritarianism" with keynote speaker Ben Kiernan of Yale University. The conference will be held at UConn Hartford in the Hartford Club, 46 Prospect Street, Hartford.

This one-day conference brings together scholars and journalists at the University of Connecticut and across the region to discuss the various forms that authoritarianism is taking in the world today, from the Philippines to Turkey, to Argentina and Venezuela, to Europe and the United States. It also aims to place this authoritarianism in historical perspective, comparing it to the anti-democratic currents of yesterday, whether in fascist Europe or in the Cold War dictatorships of Latin America.
 
Panelists will address: What are the dynamics of authoritarianism in the site they study? What forms does its policies and political rhetoric take? What is the relationship between economic insecurity and anti-democratic currents? What politics and institutional structures of the old regime fuel the rise of authoritarianism? Is it genuinely populist, facilitated by elites, or both?

For details on panels and panelists, view the full program.

This program is made possible with generous support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UConn Humanities Institute, the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Department of English, the Human Rights Institute, and the University of Connecticut-Hartford.

Professor Tom W. Smith to Present “Antisemitism in Contemporary America” on Nov. 7, 2018

cemetery with graffiti

Please join us on Wednesday, November 7, when Professor Tom W. Smith will present "Antisemitism in Contemporary America." The program will be held at 5:00 pm in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center. A reception will follow. The evening is made possible by the Center for Judaic Studies Irving Seliger Memorial Endowment Fund and is co-sponsored by the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. 

The lecture is held in remembrance of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when a pogrom committed by the Nazis against German Jews resulted in many fatalities and the destruction of Jewish homes, businesses, hospitals, synagogues, and schools.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.

About the Presentation

 

Antisemitism is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted of all forms of inter-group hatred. Prejudice and bigotry against Jews have many aspects, combining religious intolerance, economic stereotypes, suspicions of disloyalty, and other factors. But while antisemitism is a persistent and enduring societal blight, it is not static and immutable. Antisemitic beliefs do change over time and the level and nature of prejudicial attitudes and anti-Jewish behaviors do wax and wane. As a complex and dynamic societal feature, the state of antisemitism needs to be closely examined and its contemporary manifestations carefully investigated and assessed.

About the Speaker

 

Senior Fellow Tom W. Smith directs NORC's Center for the Study of Politics and Society. Since 1980, he has served as Director of the General Social Survey (GSS), one of NORC's most visible projects and one of the nation's most heavily utilized datasets. He is also co-founder of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), former Secretary General of the ISSP, and currently serving on the ISSP Standing and Methodology Committees.

He is frequently consulted and quoted by the news media on such diverse topics as American sexual behavior, intergroup relations, confidence in institutions, happiness, religion, guns, and voter behavior.

Smith is a prolific writer, analyzing and publishing the results of his studies in peer-reviewed journals and NORC-published reports aimed at students, scholars, and policy makers. He serves as a referee for several peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of SociologyHealth Affairs, and Demography, and he is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. Smith was editor-in-chief of Public Opinion Quarterly from 2012 to 2016.

In addition to his extensive publication and public speaking record, Smith has been the recipient of the following awards: Worcester Prize, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 1994; AAPOR Innovators Award, 2000 and 2003; AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement, 2002; Eastern Sociological Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to Sociology, 2003; Demographic Diamond Designate, American Demographics, 2003; American Sociological Association Travel Award for World Congress of Sociology, 2010; Best Publication by an International Scholar, American Sociological Association Section on Global and Transnational Sociology, 2010; the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences, ICPSR/The University of Michigan, 2011; and the AAPOR Book Award, 2013. 

Smith was appointed to serve on the Panel on the Review and Evaluation of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation Content and Design of the National Academy of Sciences. In August 2014, Tom was elected to the Sociological Research Association (SRA), an honor society of leading sociological scholars.

Tom W. Smith is the first recipient of NORC at the University of Chicago’s Norman Bradburn Career Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize individuals who, through the course of working for NORC, have made a significant contribution to the field of social science research or methodology. For the past 37 years, Smith has been the director of the General Social Survey, one of NORC's most visible projects and one of the nation's most heavily utilized datasets. Smith also directs NORC's Center for the Study of Politics and Society.

 

Dr. Joy Ladin to Present “The Soul of the Stranger: A Special Lecture for Election Night” Nov. 6, 2018

Please join us at the UConn Stamford Campus Art Gallery on Tuesday, November 6, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm when Dr. Joy Ladin will present "The Soul of the Stranger: A Special Lecture for Election Night." The evening will launch her latest book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective (Brandeis University Press, 2018).

The program is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Stamford Coordinator for Judaic Studies Professor Frederick Roden at frederick.roden@uconn.edu or 203-251-8559.

About the Presentation

 

Dr. Ladin's talk will explore how the experiences of transgender people and other “hyper-minorities” – people who are different in ways that set them apart from most members of their communities – can help us understand the difficult relations between God and humanity portrayed in much of the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on her personal experience of being both a hyper-minority – the only openly transgender person at her Orthodox Jewish university – and someone who lived for decades as a middle-class white male, Dr. Ladin will discuss how the ways we relate to those we see as strangers affects the way we relate to the ultimate stranger, God.

About the Speaker

 

Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She is the author of National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life: a Jewish Journey Between Genders and nine books of poetry. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors.

Directions to UConn Stamford

 

The UConn Stamford campus is on Broad Street between Washington Boulevard and Franklin Street; officially 1 University Place, Stamford, CT.

When using GPS, please use the address 1 University Place, Stamford, CT 06901. The nearest parking garages are the Target and Bell Street, garages. Please click here for a map of these parking garages.

 

The Strawberry Girl – A Theatrical Presentation by Israeli Stage – October 22, 2018

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at UConn will be hosting a performance of Savyon Liebrecht's play, The Strawberry Girl, followed by a dialogue led by the play's director, Guy Ben-Aharon. The show will take place on Monday, October 22 at 6PM in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center on the Storrs campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Founder of Israeli Stage and director of the play, Guy Ben-Aharon, brings Savyon Liebrecht's heart-wrenching story, The Strawberry Girl, to life on the stage. The one-woman show, presented in English, tells the haunting, WWII era story of a German woman and her son Ludwig who live in Poland, where her husband works at a “factory.” Their lives change after she meets a Jewish girl who grows strawberries, as big as a man’s fist. The play deals with the confrontation of blissful ignorance and a tragic personal intimacy.

The Strawberry Girl has toured to Boston College (sponsored by the Laura and Lorenz Reibling Foundation, German Consulate of Boston), Brandeis University (Center for German and European Studies, Hadassah Brandeis Institute), Goethe Zentrum Atlanta, Lesley University (Lesley Hillel, CJP), NewBridge on the Charles, Temple Emmanuel of Newton, Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Trinity College (Trinity Hillel), Wellesley College (German Studies Department, Jewish Studies Department, English Department, Theatre Department).

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at pamela.weathers@uconn.edu or 860-486-2271.

Professor James Loeffler to Present “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century” on Oct. 9, 2018

James Loeffler

On Tuesday, October 9, Professor James Loeffler will discuss his recently published book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press).

The talk will be held from 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, in the Visualization Studio (room 1101) located on level 1 of the Babbidge Library on the UConn Storrs campus. If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or pamela.weathers@uconn.edu.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, and the UConn Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

We will also co-sponsor his talk on Monday, October 8, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) in the Millie and Irving Bercowetz Research Library at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies located in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Susan Gottlieb at mgcjs@hartford.edu or 860-768-5018.

About the Speaker

James Loeffler is associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia and former Robert A. Savitt Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his AB from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. A specialist in Jewish and European history, and the history of human rights, his publications include The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010) which was recognized for several awards, including the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 2011 USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies for outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) 2011 Deems Taylor-Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology Book.

From the Publisher

Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

A stunningly original look at the forgotten Jewish political roots of contemporary international human rights, told through the moving stories of five key activists

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. In this riveting account, James Loeffler explores this controversial history through the stories of five remarkable Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, a journey that includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the UN resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism. The result is a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offers a startlingly new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For more, visit: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300217247/rooted-cosmopolitans

Professor James Loeffler to Present “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century” on Oct. 8, 2018

James Loeffler

Professor James Loeffler will discuss his recently published book Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press).

The talk will be held on Monday, October 8, from 7:00-9:00 pm at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) in the Millie and Irving Bercowetz Research Library at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies located in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Susan Gottlieb at mgcjs@hartford.edu or 860-768-5018.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, and the UConn Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

About the Speaker

James Loeffler is associate professor of history and Jewish studies at the University of Virginia and former Robert A. Savitt Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his AB from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. A specialist in Jewish and European history, and the history of human rights, his publications include The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010) which was recognized for several awards, including the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies 2011 USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies for outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies and the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) 2011 Deems Taylor-Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology Book.

From the Publisher

Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

A stunningly original look at the forgotten Jewish political roots of contemporary international human rights, told through the moving stories of five key activists

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. In this riveting account, James Loeffler explores this controversial history through the stories of five remarkable Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, a journey that includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the UN resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism. The result is a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offers a startlingly new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For more, visit: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300217247/rooted-cosmopolitans

A Community of Practice of Spiritual Traditions: October 3, 2018

Mindfulness

On Wednesday, October 3,  from 10 am - 2 pm, please join us for brief introductory workshops on Jewish and western spiritual practices as well as yoga and Zen meditation.  Drop in/drop out for a series of 5 short workshops with a lunch/information session at halftime.

These workshops are free and open to the public and take place in the Art Gallery at UConn Stamford (1 University Place, Stamford, CT). 

If you have questions or require an accommodation to participate, please contact Stamford Coordinator for Judaic Studies Professor Roden at frederick.roden@uconn.edu or 203-251-8559.

This event is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life.

Directions to UConn Stamford

 

The UConn Stamford campus is on Broad Street between Washington Boulevard and Franklin Street; officially 1 University Place, Stamford, CT.

When using GPS, please use the address 1 University Place, Stamford, CT 06901. The nearest parking garages are the Target and Bell Street, garages. Please click here for a map of these parking garages.

8/22/18 Film Screening and Panel Discussion of Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Ex Libris: The New York Public LibraryThe UConn Library will be hosting a daylong event dedicated to Frederick Wiseman's 2017 documentary film Ex Libris: New York Public Library. A Panel presentation and reception will follow the screening of the film at the Spotlight Theater in Hartford. The program is free and open to the public.

Winner of the International Federation of Film Critics award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, Frederick Wiseman's documentary follows patrons and staff at the main branch and several small branches of the New York Public Library, exploring the library system's public and democratic value.  

The event takes place on Wednesday, August 22, from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM at Hartford's Spotlight Theater (39 Front Street, Hartford). 

Front Street Bistro is offering a 20% discount for those who attend the event.

This program is made possible by the UConn Library, Hartford Public Library, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Jennifer Eustis jennifer.eustis@uconn.edu

 

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library trailer:

July 23: Responding to the Trauma of Children at Our Borders

The Center for Judaic Studies will be co-sponsoring a Community Teach-In on Monday, July 23, at 6:30 pm. “Responding to the Trauma of Children at Our Borders” will be held at B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom (180 Still Road, Bloomfield, on the corner of Mountain Road on the West Hartford/Bloomfield line).

The program is free and open to the entire community and will feature mental health experts, educators, students and child survivors.

This event is sponsored by B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning; Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford; Charter Oak Cultural Center; Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford; Farmington Valley League of Light; Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford;  UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life; CT Immigrant and Refugee Coalition; Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UConn; Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford; Beth El Temple; Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College; Christian Activities Council, Hartford; American Muslim Peace Initiative; Anti-Defamation League, CT; University of CT, Hartford.