Fellowship Opportunity for 2022-2023
Jews and Modern Legal Culture
Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Application Deadline: October 18, 2021
During the 2022–2023 fellowship year, the Katz Center turns its attention to the study of law between the 18th and 21st centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law. This year’s fellowship aims to encourage new research in the study of Jews and the law across disciplinary perspectives, a focus that includes Jewish law as it has developed in modern contexts as well as the role of Jews within other legal cultures.
The Katz Center invites applications from scholars working on projects related to this focus, including legal scholars alongside scholars approaching the study of law from other fields and disciplines. The Center seeks to draw from a wide range of methodological and disciplinary approaches, including but not limited to social, legal, and intellectual history, anthropology, literature, religious studies, jurisprudence, political science, the social sciences, and philosophy.
Relevant research might address one or more of the following questions:
- What is the place of law in modern Jewish religious life, thought, and culture?
- How has modernity impacted Jewish law as it developed since the 18th century, and how in turn has Jewish legal culture shaped Jews’ experience of modernity?
- What role have Jews played in the development of other legal systems and cultures, imperial, national, and international?
- What role have Jews played as legal actors—as lawyers, judges, scholars of laws, criminals, and witnesses?
- What are the legal consequences of the creation of the state of Israel and its subsequent history? What is the place of Jewish law in a democratic state? In a state that involves or rules over large non-Jewish populations, citizens, and non-citizens?
- What is the legal legacy of the Holocaust?
- What does a focus on gender reveal about the workings of law and/or how has law impacted the construction and expression of gender?
- What can the field of Jewish studies contribute to broader discussions about human rights, religious freedom, and other legal concepts relevant for understanding the political status and lived experience of religious and ethnic minorities?
- How does law intersect with other domains of culture within Jewish experience such as ethics, economics, the military, philosophy, architecture, literary and artistic expression?
Katz Center fellows are provided with the time and resources needed to pursue their individual projects but are also expected to actively engage in an interdisciplinary intellectual community drawn together by seminars, conferences, collaborative activities, and ongoing conversations. Applications from scholars worldwide are encouraged. All applicants must hold a doctoral degree or expect to receive it by the start date of the fellowship. Fellows will be expected to take residence in Philadelphia where they will be provided with an office and full library privileges.
For more information about the Katz Center’s fellowship program, including a full description of the year’s theme, examples of possible projects, eligibility, and requirements, please visit us online: katz.sas.upenn.edu