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JS Lecture Series: Chana Kronfeld, “The Land as Woman: The Afterlife of a Poetic Metaphor in Women’s Modern Hebrew Poetry”

Posted by on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Events.

The Program in Jewish Studies is proud to welcome Chana Kronfeld from the University of California, Berkeley to speak on “The Land as Woman: The Afterlife of a Poetic Metaphor in Women’s Modern Hebrew Poetry.”

The lecture will take place at noon on Wednesday, April 10 in the Central Library Poetry Room (612A). A kosher lunch will be provided.

Co-sponsored by the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Department of English, and the Department of Religious Studies

Talk description:

The Land-as-Woman is one of the most deeply rooted metaphorical systems in Jewish as well as Western and Middle-Eastern cultures, used to support the discourses of colonialism and nationalism throughout history. It has its origins in the Hebrew Bible, where the male prophet, ventriloquizing a male God, addresses Zion as his beloved – but more often as his unfaithful – wife, thus linking idolatry with adultery and whoredom (zenut). In modern Hebrew poetry, the male poet lays claim to this biblical trope, but now within a secular, nationalist “conquest” of the Land-as-Woman. Prof. Kronfeld explores what happens when modernist women poets critique a tradition that views women always as metaphors, never as literal subjects. Kronfeld describes the revolutionary work of modern Hebrew women poets who develop a new erotics of address to the land that calls into question patriarchal models of conquest and subjugation.

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