Date(s) - 15/10/2015
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Meaning of Jewish History
Don and Sonia Marejn Memorial Lectures 2015
Professor David Myers
This series of three lectures will explore the ways in which modern Jews (and non-Jews) have used the Jewish past for a wide variety of religious, political, and legal purposes. As against the view that history is a mere recitation of dead facts, these lectures argue that history has been called upon to play an important present-day public role–and indeed is a vital ingredient in the formation of collective memory.
History as Consolation:
This lecture examines the way in which the study of the Jewish past has been repeatedly employed as a source of consolation to Jews, reminding them that they have survived to tell and hear the tale. The lecture concludes by asking whether this impulse to console in the wake of tragedy is healthy–or reflects an excessive devotion to a “lachrymose,” or tearful, view of the past.
David N. Myers is a Professor of Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as Robert N. Burr Chair of the History Department. For ten years, Myers served as Director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. He has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. His books include Re-inventing the Jewish Past (Oxford, 1995), Resisting History: The Crisis of Historicism in German-Jewish Thought (Princeton, 2003), andBetween Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz(Brandeis, 2008). Myers has served as a member of the board of the Association for Jewish Studies, and is also a member of the board of the New Israel Fund. Since 2002, Myers has served as co-editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review.