Wednesday, June 15, 2011

History and Responsibility: Hebrew Literature and 1948

This is a conference currently taking place at Stanford under the auspices of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. Since so many familiar faces are here (Mickey Gluzman, Anita Shapira, Dan Miron, Hannan Hever), I thought it would be interesting if I shared some of my impressions.

The level of discussion was very high (and often heated, as befits a controversial subject). The panelists were a mixture of literary scholars and historians, and it is this aspect which I found most stimulating. I think that interdisciplinary dialog is the way of the future in the humanities. So the debates of what actually happened in 1948 (the responsibility of the yishuv for the Naqba; the weight of the Holocaust; the culpability of the Palestinian leadership) meshed with the discussions of the poetics of trauma, Benjamin's messianic time, and Agnon's spatial imagination. If this meshing was a little rough at times, it was also exciting.

Strangely enough, what I found missing was politics. Surely as the Arab Spring (or is it already the heated summer?) is going on and as Syria is slaughtering its dissidents, you'd expect a little more of a global perspective than the neverending debate of who did what to whom 63 years ago.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"The Last Stanza"

My fellow students and faculty members,

I'm pleased to announce that StanzAviv - Israel's answer to the Bloomsbury Group - will be releasing their first poetry anthology in June. This collection features many current and former members of the TAU English department including Shawn Edrei, Uri Lifshitz, Avshalom Guissin, Charlotte Taylor and Eran Edry. All proceeds go to the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC).

StanzAviv will celebrate the release on the 27th of June with a launch party/poetry reading at the Zimmerman Bar:

So come on down, support your fellow students, and show your TAU spirit with the gift of capital! :)

Facebook page here.

StanzAviv - Poetry & Music Evening
7.45pm-10pm, Mon 27 June
@ Zimmerman Bar (2 Brenner St, off Allenby)
Book Launch of 'The Last Stanza' (הבית האחרון )
An anthology of poems from Tel Aviv
All sales from book go to ARDC

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Science fiction origins at the British Library

In the hope that this may prove useful to some of you, there is an exhibit on the history of science fiction called Out Of This World going on until the end of September that sounds rather interesting.