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2024-2025 Jewish/Queer/Trans

In this theme year, we aim to explore in the broadest possible ways how queer/trans studies intersect with studies of Jews, Jewishness, Judaism, and indeed Jewish Studies itself, from the full range of humanistic, artistic, activist, and social science perspectives. We thus intend to assemble a group of scholars, writers, and artists that will allow us to explore this set of fundamental issues across the temporal gamut of ancient to the present and in Middle Eastern, African, Asian, European, and American societal contexts.

We invite applicants to consider the ways in which Jewish Studies might thicken queer and trans studies. At the same time, we wish to inquire into how queer and trans studies might aid the interrogation of foundational categories deployed in Jewish Studies. In doing so, we seek to challenge social hierarchies, notions of sacred/profane, religious conceptions, political movements and structures, knowledge paradigms, and communal boundaries: all key elements in the history of studies of Jews and Judaism. That is, how can insights from queer and trans studies enrich and complicate our understanding of the dispersed, diverse, and shifting histories of Jewish sexual cultures and gender systems, as well as social, cultural, and racialized formations of Jewishness more broadly. We are particularly interested in approaches that create dialogue among the sub-fields of Jewish Studies, queer and trans studies that go beyond merely applying theoretical models to Jewish Studies.

The “Jewish/Queer/Trans” fellowship year will promote a tighter integration of queer/trans perspectives and methodologies into Jewish Studies, and contribute to the ongoing softening of boundaries between analyses focused on racial, sexual, or gendered difference.

What forms of analysis might queer and trans theory enable in the study of Jewish texts, cultures, and history?

How might non-Ashkenazi or non-contemporary forms of Jewish ritual, theology, textuality, domesticity, kinship, or musical arts decenter Eurocentric defaults in queer and trans studies?

How might queering and trans-ing our understandings of key concepts like “archive,” temporality, historiography, and data allow for expanded inquiries within Social Science-based and Humanities-attuned subfields within Jewish studies?

What happens to Jewish Studies methods and archives when Queer of Color critiques are deployed to its sources and subjects?

The cohort will place an emphasis on collaborative projects and outputs; building support and mentoring networks; and public-facing scholarship.

To submit an application, please click here.