Jews, Muslims, and Modernity


22nd Annual Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Lecture in Judaic Studies


For much of the history of Jewish studies, the study of modern Jewry has been focused on Europe, America and Israel. 

The Katz Center devotes its 2018 Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff lecture to a program that pushes into less familiar regions of modern Jewish experience, featuring one of the scholars who has pioneered the study of Jews in modern Islamic contexts, Aron Rodrigue, the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. 

Professor Rodrigue will reflect on the state of the field from the perspective of his own research over the last three decades—and his remarks will be followed by brief responses from three other leading scholars in this area, Lital Levy (Princeton University); Julia Phillips Cohen (Vanderbilt University); and Jessica Marglin (University of Southern California) who will broach new directions. This year's Meyerhoff program is meant to introduce some of the exciting new research on modern Jewish culture and experience in places like North Africa, the Levant and Turkey, and to welcome the university community into the Katz Center's current fellowship year.


Aron Rodrigue is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. He teaches courses in Modern Jewish History, the history and culture of Sephardic Jews, the Jews of Modern France, and the Ottoman Empire. His scholarship focuses on the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in modern times, and his writings are considered among the most influential in the field. 

Lital Levy is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She teaches courses in Hebrew and Arabic literatures, world literature, and critical theory. Her research encompasses Hebrew, Arabic, and Anglophone literatures and cultures, with special interest in zones of contact between Arabic and Hebrew.

Jessica Marglin is the Ruth Ziegler Early Career Chair in Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California. Her scholarship focuses on the history of Jews and Jewish-Muslim relations in modern North Africa and the Mediterranean, with a special interest in legal history. Her first book, Across Legal Lines: Jews and Muslims in Modern Morocco, is a study of Jews in the Moroccan legal system in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Julia Phillips Cohen is an associate professor in the Department of History and the Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. She specializes in Jewish history, the history of the Ottoman Empire, urban history, intercommunal relations in the modern Mediterranean, Judeo-Spanish history, and Jews in Islamic lands. She is currently researching Sephardi Jews’ evolving relationship to Spain and their Spanish past in the centuries following the expulsion.

Event Location: 
Amado Recital Hall
Irvine Auditorium
3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Event Date and Time: 
October 18, 2018 5:00pm
Open to the public
Department of History
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Jewish Studies Program
Middle East Center
Event Contact: 
Carrie Love
Event Contact Email:
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