The Jewish Culture and Contexts series is published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in association with the Katz Center. The series is co-edited by Steven Weitzman, Francesca Trivellato (Institute for Advanced Study), Shaul Magid (Dartmouth College), and Beth Berkowitz (Barnard College), and its goal is to deepen understanding of Jewish culture within the specific historical and geographic contexts in which it has developed. Broadly interdisciplinary, this series features monographs in all areas of Judaic studies.
Four current and past Katz Center fellows won top honors:
Over the past year, Katz Center scholars have published an impressive array of books, representing a range of methodological, disciplinary, and historical specializations. Browse our virtual bookshelf below to learn more about this great selection of texts and the authors who produced them.
Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust
Oxford University Press
By Natalia Aleksiun (2014–15: Wissenschaft and 2017–18: Nature)
We are delighted to announce that Ilan Stavans, of Amherst College, the internationally known scholar, writer, editor, translator, playwright, cultural critic, publisher, teacher, lexicographer, columnist, journalist, travel writer, biographer, actor, TV and radio host, has donated to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, the Ilan Stavans Collection of Jewish Latin American History, Culture, and Literature.
The Western Wall: The Dispute over Israel’s Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000
By Doron Bar (2007–08: Late Antiquity) and Kobi Cohen-Hattab
In 1832, an antisemitic scandal shook France to its core. In the spring of that year, the Bourbon royal family—ousted by yet another revolution—was moldering in exile when its most glamorous member, the duchesse de Berry, hatched a plot to reclaim the throne for her 11-year-old son. Surrounded by a band of young nobles willing to die for the royalist cause, the duchess landed on the coast of France in May.
The Katz Center staff has been working from home for several weeks now, translating seminars into virtual meetings for fellows, planning for next year's cohort and public programs, and doing our best to nurture Judaic studies scholarship, all while social distancing.
But since we know our fellows and followers may be exploring literarily with their extra time at home, we put together a list of reading recommendations. Each staff member picked a favorite book—many quite fitting for the current moment—and has suggested that you read it.