The Stories That Objects Tell

Date: Aug 22, 2022

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Sponsor: Public Lectures and Events

Location: Online

Category: Livestream Public Lectures & Events

The Stories That Objects Tell

Part of our summer learning series: Stories and Storytellers

This session is generously sponsored by Yale Asbell, JTS Trustee, and by Karen Price Rafalowicz and Joseph Rafalowicz in memory of their parents Ruth Price and Leon Rafalowicz.

Monday, August 22, 2022, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

With Dr. Barbara Mann, Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature

How do objects “tell stories”?  Focusing on examples from Jewish material culture and working with ideas from critical theory and poetry, we will consider how objects acquire meaning and value. We will explore the nexus between objects and their “biographies” in both historical, institutional contexts, such as museums and archives, as well as on the level of individual memory. Participants are encouraged to bring an object of some personal significance to the session. 

Please register for the Stories and Storytelling series in order to receive the Zoom link for this series. Once you register for the Stories and Storytelling series, your registration admits you to all sessions in this series, and you may attend as many sessions as you’d like.

About Dr. Barbara Mann

Dr. Barbara Mann is professor of cultural studies and Hebrew Literature and the Chana Kekst Professor of Jewish Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Her areas of expertise include Israeli and Jewish literature, cultural studies, modern poetry, critical theory and urban studies, literary modernism, and the fine arts.

In her newest book, The Object of Jewish Literature: A Material History (Yale University Press, 2022), Dr. Mann shares a history of modern Jewish literature that explores our enduring attachment to the book as an object. Dr. Mann is also the author of Space and Place in Jewish Studies (Rutgers University Press, 2012) and A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space (Stanford University Press, 2005), in addition to numerous scholarly articles. She is editor emerita of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History. Dr. Mann has lectured and presented scholarly papers at seminars and conferences in the United States, Israel, and Europe, and has been awarded numerous honors for her work. From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the faculty at Princeton University, where she also served as a faculty fellow in the Center for the Study of Religion.


Stories and Storytelling 

Join JTS scholars to explore a selection of stories drawn from ancient, rabbinic, medieval, and modern Jewish literature. We will consider the power of shared stories and how they transmit values, norms, culture, and information, bringing Jews together across time and space.