The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book

Sunday, May 3, 2015 - 9:00am - Monday, May 4, 2015 - 5:00pm
Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, 420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19106

The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, are pleased to announce the fifteenth annual Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop to be held on May 3-4 (Sunday-Monday), 2015, at the Katz Center. The topic is Cheap Books From the Cairo Geniza: Formats, Texts and Readers in Medieval Egypt. This year’s workshop will be led by Professor Judith Olszowy Schlanger, who holds the chair of medieval Hebrew palaeography and manuscript studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne) in Paris and is an affiliated researcher at the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, CNRS. Her research interests include Hebrew palaeography and diplomatics, Cairo Geniza studies and intellectual and economic contacts between Jews and non-Jewish cultures in the Middle Ages. Her publications include Karaite Marriage Documents from the Cairo Geniza. Legal Tradition and Community Life in Mediaeval Egypt and Palestine (Brill, Leiden, 1998), Les manuscrits hébreux dans l’Angleterre médiévale : étude historique et paléographique (Peeters, Paris, Louvain, 2003); Hebrew and Hebrew-Latin Documents from Medieval England: a Diplomatic and Palaeographical Study, (Brepols, Turnhout 2014).

The treasure-trove of manuscripts in Hebrew script recovered from the Cairo Geniza includes thousands of fragments of books. Of varying physical shapes and textual contents, these books bear witness to intense book production in medieval Eastern Jewish communities, and to the demand for such books by a robust readership. The costs of book production, and the price of book purchase were clearly important factors in shaping the market. Focusing on these material artifacts, the sessions will explore the variety of books produced, identify the texts which enjoyed particular popularity, and attempt to reconstruct the milieu of their copyists. Themes to be examined through the study of manuscript images include: Books from the Cairo Geniza: 'Elite' or 'Popular' Culture?; Economics of Book Production and Trade; Books Materials: Techniques of Production, Use and Reuse; Hebrew Script as a Marker of Specific Social or Religious Readership Groups; Book Formats and Sizes⎯and their Functions; and Quality of Manuscripts Versus Quality of Texts.

Because the Workshop will involve textual study, participants should be able to read unpointed Hebrew texts. The workshop is open to professors and independent scholars, professional librarians in the field of Jewish and related studies, and graduate students in Jewish Studies. Attendance at previous workshops is not a prerequisite for admission.

For faculty and professionals, tuition is $300. In addition to attendance and all materials for the workshop, the tuition includes two nights in a hotel (double-occupancy) for the nights of May 3 and 4 (with the option of May 2), and all meals and refreshments (all kosher) during the course of the workshop. Graduate students may apply for a full scholarship to the workshop. To apply for the scholarship, a graduate student should write us giving the details of his or her academic program and a brief statement explaining how the workshop will further his or her academic studies. S/he should also ask a faculty advisor to write us a letter of recommendation on the student's behalf. 

Attendance is limited. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please notify us immediately. Full payment must be received by March 1, 2015. Make checks payable to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. A registration form is available at: registration LW2015.pdf

Please address all correspondence to: Lehmann Workshop, c/o Jewish Studies Program, 711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305. Jewish Studies Program E-mail: jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu ; Phone: 215-898-6654

 

The Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation along with grants from Mr. Albert Friedberg, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Andrew H. Cohn, Esq. C'66, and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation.

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax / jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu