Disability and the Jewish Body: Ancient Resistance to Empire

Wednesday, January 17th 2018, 4:00pm
Dwinelle Hall, 370 Dwinelle Hall Berkeley, CA

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, the Disability Studies Occasional Lecture Series and the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the GTU present a lecture by Julia Watts Belser, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies,Georgetown University and CJS alum.

Ancient Jewish accounts of the Roman conquest of Jerusalem use disability to reckon with charged questions about power, violence, and resistance. Bringing feminist disability studies to bear on rabbinic Jewish narrative, this lecture argues that disability affords the rabbis a complex symbolic discourse with which to grapple with the power of God and the brutality of empire.

Even as subjugated bodies bear the material costs of opposition to Rome, rabbinic Jewish storytellers also flip the conventional script of loss and vulnerability. Disability become a means for the rabbis to critique colonial power—and articulate the subversive potency of dissident bodies that refuse to perform as desired beneath the imperial regime.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products. CART transcription and ASL interpretation can be provided with advance request. For this or any other questions/requests, please
contact: sschweik@berkeley.edu