Each dialogue involves the examination of one term and its representation and use in diverse geographical and historical contexts, both within Jewish Studies and outside of it. Each conversation involves at least two scholars, one from Duke and one from another institution.


The last dialogue of the lab will combine multiple terms, examining Translation and World Literature in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library 153, April 4th, 12-2 p.m. Guest scholar Stiliana Milkova Rousseva will be in conversation with Duke scholars Reut Ben-Yaakov, Eileen Chow, Martin Eisner, and Sarah Quesada.



“What is Jewish Modernism?” was held Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 4:00-5:30pm on Zoom. With Beth Holmgren (Duke), Priscilla Layne (UNC), and Allison Schachter (Vanderbilt).

What is a ghetto? was held Thursday, February 3rd, 2022, 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Zoom. With Shaul Bassi (Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Paul B. Jaskot (Duke), and Karen Auerbach (UNC Chapel Hill).

What is citizenship? was held Thursday, October 6th, 2022, 4-6 p.m. at Duke, FHI Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse. With Mia Fuller (UC Berkeley), Shai Ginsburg (Duke), and Igiaba Scego (author/visiting scholar, Duke).

“What is multilingualism?” held Thursday, February 9, 2023, 12-2 p.m. at Duke in Rubenstein Library 249. With Monique Balbuena (University of Oregon), Dominika Baran (Duke), Lital Levy (Princeton), and Helen Solterer (Duke).

Archives, Exhibits, and Literature” on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 12–2 PM in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (153 Rubenstein)

Two Duke faculty, Annette Joseph-Gabriel and Felwine Sarr, and two visitors, Emma Bond and Max Czollek, will examine the intersections, problems and productive intersections between archives, exhibits and literature.

Emma Bond is Professor of Italian and Comparative Studies at Oxford University. She has published widely on border and migration literatures and transnational studies. Her third monograph, Curating Worlds: Museum Practices in Contemporary Literature is forthcoming (Northwestern University Press, 2024).

Max Czollek is a poet, curator, political scientist, and stage performer. He received his doctorate from the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technische Universität Berlin and is well known for his theatrical and essayistic work surrounding memory culture, integration, and Jewish identity in post-war Germany. He is the author of Desintegriert euch! (De-integrate! A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st Century trans. Jon Cho-Polizzi), among many other works.

Annette Joseph-Gabriel is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University. Her areas of expertise include Black women’s writings, anticolonial activism, and slavery in the French Atlantic. She is the author of Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (2020) and her new project, Enslaved Childhoods: Survival and Storytelling in the Atlantic World (under contract), examines what writings by enslaved children can teach us about how to tell stories about difficult pasts.

Felwine Sarr is a humanist, philosopher, economist, and musician and the Anne-Marie Bryan Chair in French and Francophone Studies at Duke University. He is the author of Afrotopia, among many other scholarly and creative works. Well-known for his groundbreaking report “The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics,” Sarr taught at the University of Gaston-Berger in Saint Louis, Senegal, where he was previously dean of its Economics and Management department.

Co-sponsored by Duke’s Center for Jewish Studies; David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library; German Studies; Romance Studies; Global Jewish Modernism Lab.

This event complements the exhibition Mapping Jewish Modernism, on view in the Mary Duke Biddle Room, just inside the main entrance of the Perkins Library, on view February 9 – August 3, 2024.