Ink and Blood: Textuality and the Human in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
July 9-11, 2006
Free and Open to the Public
Convened by Prof Susannah Heschel
Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation
Ink and blood are two major emblems of self-definition for religious communities that link themselves as much through community, ethnicity, or race as through doctrine and history. Religious power is expressed through blood (e.g., martyrdom) as well as ink (ideology), and both blood and language are vehicles for communication and covenant with the divine. The presumed divine wish for human blood is negotiated through texts, which are in turn united in incarnation, as the word becomes flesh or the blood is presumed to be holy, to be returned to God through sacrificial offering. Participants in "Ink and Blood: Textuality and the Human" will address issues related to race, martyrdom, hermeneutics, and nationalism as refracted through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The conference is financed by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation for the purpose of reconceptualizing Jewish Studies and improving relations between the fields of Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies. All lectures and seminars are free and open to the public. For further information, please contact Meredyth Morley, 646-8172.
Tentative conference program schedule:
Sunday, July 9, 4-6 pm: Plenary Session (Rockefeller 2, Rockefeller Center)
Moderator: Gene Garthwaite, Dartmouth College
- Angelika Neuwirth, Humboldt University, "Biblical and Islamic Mnemonics in Contemporary Near Eastern Literature and Art"
- Hartmut Lehmann, Dartmouth College, "The German Protestants' Quest for National Salvation
Monday, July 10, 9 am to 12 noon (1930 Rm, Rockefeller Center)
- Denise Buell, Williams College, "Spilled Ink and Blood: Modern Racism Meets Early Christian Collective Self-Descriptions"
- Kathleen Biddick,Temple University, "Martyrial Times"
- Lisa Lampert, University of California, San Diego, "To prove whose blood is reddest: Rethinking Race in The Merchant of Venice"
1 pm to 4 pm (1930 Rm, Rockefeller Center)
- Gregory Kaplan, Rice University, "The Biopolitical in Martin Buber's Conception of Life"
- J. Kameron Carter, Duke University, "Oriental Jesus Occidental Paul: Race, Myth, and the Conflicted Status of Jewish Flesh in Nineteenth-Century German Biblical Scholarship"
- Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College, "Blood, Breast, and Kiss: Revelation and Gender in Jewish-Christian Contse"
4 pm to 6 pm: Plenary Session (Rockefeller 2, Rockefeller Center)
- Christina von Braun, Humboldt University, "Blood and Ink"
- Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Hebrew University, "Metaphors can Kill: From Loving Jerusalem to Loving in Jerusalem"
Tuesday, July 11, 9 am to 12 noon (1930 Rm, Rockefeller Center)
- Asad Ahmed, University of Chicago, "Genealogies, Prophetic Sayings, and the Iconisation of the Prophet's Companions: The Case of Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas"
- Andrew Newman, University of Edinburgh, "Text and Textuality Then and Now: Reading 17th Century Religious Discourse in Iran"
- Mark Cohen, Princeton University, "Maimonides' Code and the Social and Economic Realities of his Time"
1 pm to 4 pm: The Political Migrations of Religious Identities (1930 Rm, Rockefeller Center)
- Eran Kaplan, University of Cincinnati, "Between the Pen and the Sword: Intellectuals and the Jewish National Movement"
- Zachary Braiterman, Syracuse University, "Fanatic Figures: The Circle of Scripture and the Problem of Primitivism in Modern Culture"
- Maimuna Huq, University of South Carolina, "Cultivating and Contesting Religious Subjectivity in Bangladesh: The Politics of Commitment among Islamic Activist Women"