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Exile and Interpretation

An Interdisciplinary Conference at Wake Forest University

Paul Mendes- Flohr, Ph.D.

University of Chicago and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Paul Mendes-Flohr’s major research interests include modern Jewish intellectual history, modern Jewish philosophy and religious thought, philosophy of religion, German intellectual history, and the history and sociology of intellectuals. Together with Berd Witte, he serves as editor-in-chief of the twenty-two volume German edition of the collected works of Martin Buber, sponsored by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Heinrich Heine Universitat, Dusseldorf. He has recently published, in Hebrew, Progress and its Discontents and (with Jehuda Reinharz) The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. He is the editor of a series on German-Jewish literature and Cultural History for the University of Chicago Press. He is currently completing a biography of Martin Buber to be published by Yale

Sonja Asal

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich

Dr. Sonja Asal studied philosophy, Romance studies as well as German studies in Freiburg, Breisgau, Toulouse and Berlin and obtained her doctorate with a thesis on the conflict between religion and politics in France during the Enlightenment. As a research fellow at the TU Dresden, she participated in publishing “Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie. From 2007 to 2009, she was the managing editor of the journal Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte. Since then, she has been working as an academic coordinator at the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and is responsible for the humanities and socials sciences.

Dr. Matthias Bormuth

Universität Oldenburg

Matthias Bormuth is Heisenberg Professor for Comparative Intellectual History at the University of Oldenburg. After completing his dissertation on Karl Jaspers, his work has been interdisciplinary, focusing on the fields of history and ethics of psychiatry, cultural studies and intellectual history. Upon completing his medical studies and after several years of a psychiatric assistantship, he held a long term academic position at the University of Tübingen. Later, he became a Feodor-Lynen-Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2009/10), a Nietzsche Fellow at the Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche at Weimar (2010) and an Adjunct Teaching and Research Professor for European Intellectual History at Columbia University (2011). In addition to his many contributions to journals and edited collections, his monographic books and edited works are: Lebensführung in der Moderne. Karl Jaspers und die Psychoanalyse (Wallstein 2002), Life Conduct in Modern Times. Karl Jaspers and Psychoanalysis (Springer 2006), Kunst und Krankheit. Studien zur Pathographie (Ed., Wallstein 2006), Marburger Hermeneutik zwischen Tradition und Krise (Ed., Wallstein 2007) and Ambivalenz der Freiheit. Suizidales Denken im 20. Jahrhundert (Wallstein 2008) and Karl Jaspers – Korrespondenzen (Ed., Wallstein 2013).

Ulrich von Bülow

Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach

Dr. Ulrich von Bülow, born 1963, studied German Literature and Linguistics at the Karl Marx University, Leipzig. In 1992, he was appointed to the German Literature Archive, Marbach, serving as Head of the Archive Department since 2006. Bülow has written books and essays about Franz Führmann, Arthur Schnitzler, W. G. Sebald, Peter Handke, and others. He is the editor of texts by Rainer Maria Rilke, Erich Kästner, Karl Löwith, Martin Heidegger, and Hans Blumenberg.

James Connolly

University of Hull

After taking his PhD at the University of Southampton, James Connelly worked as a secondhand and antiquarian bookdealer for many years. He then returned to academic life at Southampton Solent University, moving to Hull in 2006. He teaches political theory, contemporary political philosophy and environmental politics. He has published two editions of his co-authored book Politics and the Environment: From Theory to Practice and several articles on the politics and ethics of the environment; he is currently writing a monograph on environmental virtues and citizenship. He also writes on the political philosophy of R.G. Collingwood and the other British Idealists, on the philosophy of history, on electoral systems and political participation.

Martin Elsky

City University of New York

Martin Elsky is Professor in the Ph.D. Programs in English and in Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Professor of English at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He is former Articles Editor of Renaissance Quarterly, and former director of the Renaissance Studies Certificate Program, an interdisciplinary doctoral program at CUNY.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Renaissance Society of America, and is on the Editorial Board of Epistèmé (Paris III). His interests have included English Reformation poetry, scientific prose, language theory, and, more recently, the English adaptation of Italian architecture as the setting of English Renaissance literature. His current interests revolve around the work and career of Erich Auerbach in relation to the post-World War I German reception of Dante. With Martin Vialon and Robert Stein, he has collaborated on a translation of Auerbach’s letters, including his correspondence with Walter Benjamin.  He is presently at work on the convergence of German World War I memory and the interwar Dante revival as it relates to Auerbach and his contemporaries.

Samuel Goldman

Princeton University

Samuel Goldman is in his first year in the Princeton religion department as a Tikvah Fellow and lecturer. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2010. His dissertation, The Shadow of God: Strauss, Jacobi, and the Theologico-Political Problem was awarded the Robert Noxon Toppan Prize for the Best Dissertation on a Subject of Political Science by the Department of Government at Harvard University. Goldman is currently revising it for publication. Goldman’s teaching interests include: secularization theories, the political thought of the Enlightenment, and German idealism. In addition to scholarly publications, his writing has appeared in The American Conservative, The New Criterion, and Maximumrocknroll.

Adi Gordon

University of Cincinnati

Adi Gordon’s fields of research are modern Jewish and European histories with emphases on Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, on the one hand, and on Zionism and the Yishuv (the Jewish society in Pre-48 Palestine) on the other. His research focuses on the intersection of Central European and Jewish history and ideas with other historical arenas and global transformations.

Malachi Hacohen

Duke University

(Ph.D., Columbia), Bass Fellow and Associate Professor of History, Political Science and Religion, is Director of the Center for European Studies, and member of the faculty of German and Jewish Studies, as well as the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology & Medicine. He teaches European intellectual history and Jewish history. He has previously taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Reed College. His research interests focus on Central Europe and include social theory, political philosophy, and rabbinic literature – Midrash to Kabbalah to halakhic responsa. Hacohen writes on the Central European Jewish intelligentsia, the European nation state vs. empire, Jewish- Christian relations, and the dilemmas of writing Jewish European history that is both cosmopolitan European and authentically Jewish. Hacohen’s Karl Popper – The Formative Years, 1902-1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000) has won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the AHA and the Victor Adler- Staatspreis (Austrian state-prize). He has published essays in The Journal of Modern History, The Journal of the History of Ideas, History and Theory, and numerous journals and collections. He is presently completing a book in Jewish European history focussing on the biblical story of Jacob and Esau (Jews and Christians) as it is told through the ages. Chapters include the biblical and rabbinic period, medieval & early modern Judaism, Jewish emancipation, the European nation state and the Central European Jewish intelligentsia, the Austrian Empire and the Jews, post-Holocaust Europe and the State of Israel. Some of Hacohen’s recent articles deal with Cold War liberalism, the Congress for Cultural Freedom and the formation of a public sphere in postwar Central Europe, and Austrian scientific culture at the turn of the twentieth-century. Hacohen has been a recipient of the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship from the ACLS, as well as of Fulbright, Mellon, and Whiting fellowships and a number of teaching awards. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto in 2006-07, at the National Humanities Center in 2002-03 and at the IFK (Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften) in Vienna 2001 . He is a coordinator of the Triangle Intellectual History Program (Duke, NCSU at Raleigh, UNC at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University) and the Judaic Studies Seminar, and he serves on the editorial board of MIH (modern intellectual history) and several other professional journals as well as on the program board of the Vienna International Summer University, the IFK, and the jury for the Adler and Vogelsang Austrian State Prizes.

Emily Levine

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Emily Levine is Assistant Professor of Modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For the academic year 2012-2013 she is an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research fellow at the Freie Universität. She recently completed her first book based on her Stanford dissertation, Hamburg, Dreamland of Humanists: Aby Warburg, Ernst Cassirer, and Erwin Panofsky in Weimar Germany, which is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. Prior to her arrival at UNCG she was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. Her research focuses on resolving the relationship between ideas and social, cultural, and political forces. To this end, she published an article in the December 2011 issue of the Journal of Modern History, titled, “PanDora, or Erwin and Dora Panofsky and the Private History of Ideas,” which draws on this art historian pair and their collaboration to argue that intimate relationships should be viewed as a legitimate context for the development of ideas. A second article, “The Warburg Circle as Hamburg School,” which has recently been accepted by the Journal of the History of Ideas, argues that attention to locality changes our portrait of the intellectual and cultural history of the Weimar Republic. She is currently researching a new project in the field of Wissenschaftsgeschichte, titled, “Humboldt’s Gift: The Sources and Authorities of Scholarship between Twentieth-Century Germany and America,” which examines the transatlantic history of the relationship between universities and privately funded institutes of scholarship in the twentieth-century.

Thomas Meyer

Ludwig Maximilians Universität

Thomas Meyer received his first and second PhD in Philosophy from the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, in 2003 and 2009. He is currently Humboldt Fellow at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. His main research interests: History of Ideas, Jewish Thought, Leo Strauss.

Anthony Molho

Brown University and the European University Institute

Antony Molho received his education in his native Greece, the United States and Italy. From 1966 to 2000, he taught at Brown University, from which he retired as The David Herlihy University Professor Emeritus. From 2001 through 2010, he taught at the European University Institute, with which he continues to be affiliated in his capacity as Professor Emeritus. In 2010, he was awarded the Galileo Galilei International Prize for his contributions to the study of Italian history. He has been visiting professor at the University of Florence (1983-1985), University of Athens (1999), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (1994), the Maison des Sciences de l’ homme (1996) in Paris, New York University (2011-2012) and at the Florence branch of Stanford University (2012). He has written on the history of public finance, of the state and of the family in Italy from the 13th to the 17th centuries; he has also been interested in the history of the early modern Mediterranean, in the concept of Europe, and in the history of historiography (especially the scholarly trajectories of some of his teachers, several of whom had been exiled to the United States in the 1920s and 1930s). Currently, he is co-editing a special issue of Jewish History on the history of the Jews in Thessaloniki and writing a book devoted to a group of historians of medieval and early modern Europe (including Hans Baron and Paul Oskar Kristeller) who, following their exile to the United States, transformed the study of the Renaissance.

Herman Rapaport

Wake Forest University

Herman Rapaport is Reynolds Professor of English at Wake Forest University and is the author of various books that cover a range of disciplinary fields: critical theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, art history, musichistory, and comparative literature. Among his books are Heidegger and Derrida (Nebraska 1989); Is There Truth in Art? (Cornell 1997); The Theory Mess (Columbia 2001); Later Derrida (Routledge 2003), and The Literary Theory Toolkit (Wiley Blackwell, 2011).  He is currently working on Archival Derrida, which is about Derrida’s seminars of the 1980s and early 1990s. A lengthy essay on the exilic Arabic poet Adonis, “Performativity asEx-Scription, Adonis After Derrida,” is forthcoming in Performatives after Deconstruction (Continuum, 2013).

Eugene R. Sheppard

Brandeis University

Eugene Sheppard is an Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought, Associate Director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and associate editor of the Tauber Institute Series with Brandeis University Press. He is the author of Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile: The Making of a Political Philosopher (Brandeis University Press 2007), which critically assesses the development of this controversial and enigmatic German-Jewish refugee’s political philosophy and its legacy. Professor Sheppard is currently working on a book that explores the ways in which German Jewish intellectuals grappled with issues of loyalty from the 1920s through the 1950s. He is also co-editing The Nachlass of Simon Rawidowicz with David N. Myers (UCLA) and Benjamin Ravid (Brandeis University, Emeritus). He and Samuel Moyn (Columbia University) are managing editors of multi-volume “Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought” on Brandeis University Press/UPNE.

Dr Stephan SteinerStephan Steiner 

Centre for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin

Stephan Steiner studied philosophy, theology and literature at the Universities of Paris, Tuebingen, Vienna, and Chicago. In 2012 he completed his Ph.D. at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt with a dissertation on “Leo Strauss in the Context of Marburg Hermeneutics”. Currently he is editing the correspondence of Jacob Taubes at the Centre for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin. His research focuses on the mutual influence of American and European intellectual history. He is particularly interested in the relation of religion and the natural sciences and in American Pragmatism.


David Weinstein

Wake Forest University

David Weinstein received his PhD in political science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1988. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1987-89. He has held visiting fellowships and scholarships at Oxford University and Tulane University. In 2009, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Simon Dubnow-Institut, University of Leipzig. He has published two monographs. Equal Freedom and Utility (1998) and Utilitarianism and the New Liberalism (2007) with Cambridge University Press. He is co-editor with A. Simhony, The New Liberalism also with Cambridge University Press (2001). He is co-editor with B. Eggleston and D. Miller, John Stuart Mill and the Art of Life, Oxford University Press (2010). He is currently co-authoring Exile and Interpretation with A. Zakai.

Avihu Zakai

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Avihu Zakai is professor in the Department of History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. He has spent sabbaticals at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.  His publications include: Exile and Kingdom: History and Apocalypse in the Puritan Migration to America, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Reprint: Paperback edition, 2002; Europe and the New World: The Discovery and Conquest of America by European Powers in the 15th – 17th Centuries, Jerusalem: Akadamon Press, 1993. (Hebrew); Theocracy in Massachusetts: Reformation and Separation in Early Puritan New England, New York: Mellen University Press, 1994; Jonathan Edwards’s Philosophy of History: The Re-Enchantment of the World in the Age of Enlightenment, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003 (Winner of The Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines, The Hebrew University, 2004). Reprint: Paperback edition, 2009. Kindle edition, 2009; History and Apocalypse: Religion and Historical Consciousness in Early Modern History in Europe and America, Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2008. (Hebrew); Jonathan Edwards’s Philosophy of Nature: The Re-Enchantment of the World in the Age of Scientific Reasoning. T&T Clark, 2010. Reprint: Paperback edition, 2011. Reprint: eBook, 2011.