CALL FOR PAPERS
Kanade, di Goldene Medine?
Perspectives on Canadian-Jewish
Literature and Culture
2-5 April 2014
Department of American Literature, University of Lodz
Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal
Late in his career, the Lodz-born artist Artur Szyk produced, as part of a series aimed at international stamp collectors, an illustration meant to convey the variety of Canadian cultural and natural landscape. This is just one example of how Polish, Jewish and Canadian identities and cultures are intertwined; they have also found common cause in other areas, including literature, historiography, photography and film. The recent death of the major Lodz-born Yiddish writer Chava Rosenfarb ended a chapter in such shared experience, but younger scholars, writers, translators and cultural workers are busy ensuring the continuation and/or reevaluation of this experience. The conference will take place in Lodz and focus on Canadian-Jewish cultural practice, aiming – among other things – to renew the multifaceted connections between Lodz, Canada, and Jewishness, highlighting such relationships in all of their variety. It is designed to bring together Canadianists involved in Jewish studies, Canadian Jewish scholars and writers, as well as all those interested in the interlacing of Jewish culture and the North American context.
The conference’s setting is highly significant, because Lodz is a city of rich Jewish heritage. Before World War II, it was the second biggest Jewish metropolis in Europe (after Warsaw), in which poor Jewish working classes lived alongside prosperous Jewish factory owners, and which was home to reformed Jews from Germany, Polish Chassidim and Litvaks alike. A testimony of this once thriving culture is Lodz’s Jewish Cemetery, the biggest of its kind in Europe. However, the city is not all about its past: numerous festivals devoted to Jewish culture are organized here (most famously, the “Lodz of Four Cultures”); the Marek Edelman Center for Dialogue is one of several institutions involved in familiarizing Poles with Jewish culture. There is also a small Jewish orthodox community, the Lauder Foundation’s cultural club, and a reformed group called Beit Lodz. Those interested will have an opportunity to experience the city’s past, by means of a guided tour of the Jewish Cemetery, but also its present, through joining a Kabbalat Shabbat with the local Jewish community.
Please send an abstract of 200-250 words and a short CV to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013.