Signing Judaism: Moses Mendelssohn’s “Living Script” and Deaf/Jewish Emancipation

For Current Fellows
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Katz Center
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Anna Poplawski

At the weekly Ruth Meltzer Seminars, Katz Center fellows share their research in an intellectually rigorous workshop setting. Seminars are limited to fellows and invited guests only.

Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images. Two hands illustrating sign language with German text. Engraving by J.W. Michaelis. CC BY 4.0


Emma M. Brodeur

University of Rochester

Emma Brodeur’s research spans the fields of religion, philosophy, and psychoanalysis with a focus on modern Jewish thought and culture. In particular, she draws on aesthetics (the study of the senses) to analyze the bodily, sensory, and affective dimensions of Jewish identities in modern Europe. At the Katz Center, she will compare Moses Mendelssohn’s thought on Judaism, the origin of languages, and stuttering to debates about the development and use of Deaf sign languages in eighteenth-century Europe. Brodeur earned her Ph.D. in Religion at Syracuse University with a dissertation titled, “Sigmund Freud’s Dreams of Jewishness.” She previously taught at Syracuse University and the University of Rochester.

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