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Call for Papers: Early Modern Workshop

The 16th Early Modern Workshop “Senses and Perceptions” Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus August 19-20, 2019

The Early Modern Workshop invites proposals to participate in this summer’s workshop on the theme of “Sense and Perceptions” to be held in New York City on August 19-20, 2019. The Early Modern Workshop (EMW) brings together scholars from every level of their academic careers, from advanced graduate students to world-renowned, senior international scholars, to examine pertinent historical questions based on the analysis of primary sources from the early modern period (approx. 1450-1800). The workshop is marked by its unique format in which presenters pre-circulate primary sources from their areas of interest, in both the original language and the English translation, that have not previously been published. Presenters do not deliver lectures or conference papers, but rather introduce a new text and raise questions for collaborative, seminar-like discussion.

This year's theme, "Senses and Perceptions," encourages participants to historicize and theorize a domain of human experience that is often uncritically naturalized. How does the sensorial shape individual experience, social relations, and mutual perceptions of Jews and non-Jews? Topics might include, but are not limited to: the particularities of taste regarding Jewish cooking and food; olfactory experience and distinctive scents in daily life and in polemical imagination; the soundscapes of song, prayer, and instrumental music across confessions and in moments of leisure; vision, representation, and art; physical feelings of touch, as seen for example through fabric and dress, as well as in pleasure and pain. The theme will also reach beyond the five senses into experiences of physical health, disability, and intoxication.

Applicants should email a 250-word abstract that briefly summarizes the primary source document they propose to present, including both a description of the document and what questions it raises to with the subject line “EMW 2019”. For examples of presentations from previous workshops, see

The EWM will cover travel and accommodation to all presenters in the workshop.

Proposals are due on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Applicants will be notified by early March and will be expected to submit a transcribed primary source document, a translation of the primary source document, and an introduction with bibliography for further reading by June 14, 2019.

Magda Teter, Fordham University:
Francesca Bregoli, CUNY, Queens College, and Graduate Center
Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University
Debra Glasberg, Columbia University
Joshua Teplitsky, SUNY Stony Brook
Magda Teter, Fordham University