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Judaeo-Arabic culture focus of cross-disciplinary conference

by Aug. 9, 2016, 1:46 PM

event posterThe 17th International Conference of the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies, an organization devoted to the study of the history and culture of Arabic-speaking Jews in the Middle Ages, will be held at Vanderbilt University and the Gordon Jewish Community Center Aug. 15-18.

The conference is free and open to the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

Renowned scholars will speak on many issues surrounding Judaeo-Arabic language, literature, philosophy, society and culture. Participating Vanderbilt professors include Lenn Goodman, professor of philosophy and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities; Leor Halevi, associate professor of history and law; Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, associate professor of Jewish studies and law and religious studies; and David Wasserstein, professor of history and classics and Eugene Greener Professor of Jewish Studies.

According to the Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies’ website, Jewish life began to be transformed during the seventh century due to Arab conquests. At the end of the eighth century at the latest, Jews began using Arabic for all their practical and literary needs with the exception of liturgy. Jewish spiritual activity thus came into close interaction with Arab and Islamic culture at large.

The first session will be at the Gordon Jewish Community Center Monday, Aug. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sessions for the next two days will be held at various locations on campus. Click here for a complete schedule.

Vanderbilt’s Program in Jewish Studies and the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee have provided support for the conference.

For more information, email Jewish Studies or call 615-322-5029.

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