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Rabbinic Reproduction: Anthro-Textual Perspectives
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4/30/2018 at 6:23:32 PM GMT
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Rabbinic Reproduction: Anthro-Textual Perspectives
This panel will take up rabbinic reproduction in its various forms with an eye toward exploring the anthropological potential of rabbinic texts. Highlighting various structures of late-antique and rabbinic kinship, including bodily, educational and gendered kin, these papers will examine the practices through which the rabbis reproduced, and the kinds of bodies, both human and nonhuman, that they deemed to be reproductive. In thinking about reproduction, we will take seriously questions of agency, generativeness, creativity, power and materiality as different nodes through which reproduction can occur and investigate the roles that each of these play in rabbinic reproductive practice. While scholars in the past have examined rabbinic texts for their representations and conceptualizations of the human as a kind of rabbinic anthropology, we seek to use the rabbinic record as a way to analyze rabbinic practice itself, treating the rabbis as our anthropological subjects rather than the other way around. Moved by the recent push in anthropology and across the social sciences to move beyond representation and beyond the human and its long-held intuitions to examine practice as a definitive feature of world-making, this panel will take up current trends in anthropological theory to explore the possibilities of an anthropological approach to reading rabbinic texts. This panel also seeks to create a deliberately feminist space and approach to rabbinics in entering this andro-centric canon of rabbinic literature into anthropological analysis. To submit a paper abstract please contact Shira Schwartz, shiras@umich.edu