The Association for Jewish Studies held their Annual Meeting this year in sunny San Diego, California from December 15-17. Many University of Illinois faculty members and graduate students were in attendance. 

Prof. Brett Ashley Kaplan presented her paper “JewKlansman” on a riveting panel called “Jewishness and Blackness Through the Lens of BLAKKKLANSMAN”, Prof. Dara Goldman presented her compelling paper “A ‘Polaco’ by any Other Name: Jewish Characters and Jewishness in Recent Cuban Literature”, Prof. Dov Weiss presented his paper “Jews, Gentiles and Gehinnom in Rabbinic Literature”, and Prof. Rachel Harris co-organized the Women’s Caucus Breakfast. PhD Candidate Naomi Taub participated in the roundtable discussion “Jewishness Beyond Liberalism: New Directions in Jewish American Cultural Studies”. PhD Candidate Diana Sacilowski and I participated in a panel entitled Post War Communist Jewish Writing. Sacilowski presented her paper “Speaking Silence: Expressions of Polish-Jewish Identity in Hanna Krall’s Sublokatorka and Magdalena Tulli’s Włoskie szpilki” and I presented my paper “‘Polish national (Jewish origin)’ [‘narodowość polska (pochodzenie żydowskie)’]: The Exilic Poetry of March of 1968”. Our panel was chaired by Katka Reszke, author of Return of the Jew, an important look at the third-post Holocaust generation in contemporary Poland. 

The Annual Meeting is an exciting occasion to learn about new research by foremost scholars in the field and to meet with colleagues from around the world. I am grateful to the Program in Jewish Culture and Society for their support which gave me the opportunity to attend. As always, the Association for Jewish Studies’ Annual Meeting was the most exciting and inspiring event of the academic year (in my opinion)!