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Call for Papers: Workshop "Ritual Food and Eating in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Communities" (Erfurt, Germany)

The Institute for Jewish Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and the Research Centre “Dynamics of Jewish Ritual Practices in Pluralistic Contexts” at the Universität Erfurt are planning a joint workshop on “Ritual Food and Eating in Medieval Ashkenaz,” to take place in Erfurt (Germany) on May 16 and 17, 2019.

Many images created and used in Jewish contexts visualize aspects of food and cultures of eating in medieval and early modern Jewish communities throughout Europe and beyond. The surviving material culture includes artifacts associated with eating practices and ritual foods, and textual sources, including exegetical literature and Responsa,refer to rituals that involve food, the dietary laws, and various other features related to eating practices.

The workshop is designed to bring together researchers with different areas of expertise who are interested in ritual foods and the rituals of eating to discuss various methodologies and to allow for interdisciplinary work on such questions as:

♦ How did the ideas concerned with ritual foods and rituals of eating discussed in ancient literature find their way into medieval culture and to their eventual depiction in Jewish works of art?

♦ To what degree did medieval Christian and Jewish cultures have elements of ritual and mundane eating practices in common?

♦ In what ways did material culture inform the images conveyed in Jewish art and the interpretation of these medieval depictions, and what do these portrayals tell us about the contemporary material culture?

♦ Do food-related aspects in Jewish visual and textual culture offer clues relevant to the study of social behavior, social stratification, and social gaps?

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please submit a short CV and a one-page proposal describing the research you wish to present to Claudia Bergmann (claudia.bergmann@uni-erfurt.de) or to Katrin Kogman-Appel (kogman@uni-muenster.de) by January 31, 2019.