General Public

Challenging Humanism: Jews, Theory, and Yale During the Closing Decades of the Twentieth Century

From the early 1970s to the late 1980s, a group of second-generation Jewish literary critics, scholars, and poets at Yale University developed Theory from a social standpoint originating outside White, Male, Christian-Protestant perspectives and norms. Informed by changes at the University and across American higher education then decentering humanist culture, these pioneering Jews, first, uncovered and reworked the principles of literary scholarship, and, then, helped inaugurate an array of curricular and intellectual changes.

The Unforgiven: Wagner, Jews, and Antisemitism

The Benjamin (Yale 1962) and Barbara Zucker Lecture Series
Notwithstanding Richard Wagner’s infamy as one of the most vituperative anti-Semites of his age, a large number of Jews embraced his music, chief among them Theodor Herzl. This talk will try to untangle some of the complexities surrounding Wagner’s relationships with Jews, without seeking a uniform reading of a contradictory record.

Survival: A Theological-Political Genealogy

The Benjamin (Yale 1962) and Barbara Zucker Lecture Series
Adam Stern in conversation with Paul North about Survival, A Theological-Political Genealogy
A Theological-Political Genealogy attends to survival as a notion of critical historical urgency. Beginning with the identification of “Jewish survival” as a prominent rhetorical transit-point for this discourse, it redirects the genealogy toward the theological-political history of Latin Christianity. Survival, the book argues, translates the image of Christ’s sovereign body for the modern, secular political imagination.

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