"Voices High and Low: Selections from an Accidental Archive" Cairo Genizah exhibit opening

Monday, December 5, 2016 - 5:00pm
College Hall, 4th Floor - Philomathean Society Art Gallery

Join us for an exploration of a multilingual, multicultural and multicentric archive! Part time-machine, part-archive, the Cairo Genizah is a collection of the written output of Jewish communities from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century. In the Jewish tradition, a prohibition against throwing out 'holy' materials destines prayer books and Torah scrolls alike to be buried in storage space, a genizah (most often a cemetery). In Old Cairo, 'rubbish' deposited in the storeroom of a synagogue in the 10th century consisted of Psalms and Scriptures, but with time the Genizah grew to include over 200,000 fragments ranging from Hebrew poetry and magic amulets to romantic correspondence and merchants' receipts, written in a variety of languages including Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic and more. The Genizah presents an intimate, complicated paper trail of medieval Mediterranean society. The exhibit will tell the story of the Cairo Genizah's history and discovery through high-quality archival photos from the Genizah Research Unit in Cambridge University. The exhibit will also feature site-based installations and student work that engage with related themes of textual function, multilingualism and ways of writing. Light refreshments - including Mediterranean snack platters - will be provided.Curated by Jewish Studies Bassini Intern, Dalia Wolfson. 

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