Dr. Gillian Steinberg, associate professor of English at Yeshiva University’s Yeshiva College, will deliver a Wertheim Study lecture on the life and works of Thomas Hardy at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwartzman Building on January 13, 2015 at 1:15 p.m. Titled “Thomas Hardy’s Autobiography: Shaping a Writer’s Life,” the lecture will explore the ways in which Hardy’s complex biographical history has shaped contemporary readings of his work and explore how Hardy aimed to separate his life from his art, an effort that has largely been foiled by today’s emphasis on biography in literary interpretation. Steinberg is a writer in residence at the Wertheim Study.
Dr. Linda Shires, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English and chair of the English department at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, has essays forthcoming on self-illustrated literary works of Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling. An essay titled “Matter, Consciousness, and the Human: Hardy’s Image X texts,” will appear in Studies in English Literature (55.4, Fall 2015); another titled “Mutual Adaptation in Rudyard Kipling’s Letters to his Children and Just So Stories” is scheduled for the annual Children’s Literature (2015). Continuing her interest in nineteenth-century relationships among art, literature, and science, Shires will deliver the Jane Stedman Plenary Lecture at the Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference “Sense and the Senses” in Iowa City this coming May. Her talk is titled “Coming to our Senses: Colors in the 19th Century.”
Four Yeshiva University faculty presented at the recent international conference, “The Jewish Community Confronts Violence and Abuse” in Jerusalem, Israel. The three-day conference, held on December 1-3, 2014, was spearheaded by Tahel – Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children, an Israeli non-profit organization. The plenary presentations and facilitated discussions offered a social, halachic and educational focus on problems facing Jewish communities worldwide. Presenters include Senior Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Yosef Blau; Dean of Students Dr. Chaim Nissel; Dean of Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration Dr. Rona Novick; and Gwendolyn & Joseph Straus Chair In Jewish Education Dr. David Pelovitz. The presenters addressed the unique challenges that face victims of abuse in religious communities and how the community can be equipped to confront these issues.
Among the conference sponsors were Yeshiva University in Israel and Yeshiva University Israel Alumni.
“We were proud that Yeshiva University was able to provide expert professionals as presenters and become a silver sponsor at this conference which was the first of its kind,” said Nissel who was also interviewed by Israel Hayom editor Steve Ganot.
The full program of events can be found here.
The international bestseller, The Sistine Secrets: Michaelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican, written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University, and co-authored by Roy Doliner, is set to be featured as a documentary television episode on Discovery Channel’s “Codebreakers” on Sunday, December 14 at 9 pm. Sistine Secrets is an examination of Michelangelo’s artistry and symbolism that is said to have incorporated many teachings of Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah into the Sistine Chapel. The book is sold in 25 countries, translated into 15 languages, and received coverage on national television and press. More film coverage is forthcoming.
Dr. Ari Mermelstein, assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva College, recently published a book on the relationship between time and history in Second Temple literature. Titled Creation, Covenant, and the Beginnings of Judaism: Reconceiving Historical Time in the Second Temple Period (JSJ Supplements 168; Leiden: Brill, 2014), Mermelstein’s work examines Second Temple writers, including the authors of Ben Sira, Jubilees, the Animal Apocalypse, and 4 Ezra, who described creation, rather than a historical event, as the beginning of Jewish history in order to resolve a perceived sense of temporal rupture with Israel’s past.
President Richard M. Joel, Bravman Family University Professor and Rav Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud, will be participating in the Orthodox Union’s National Convention which will take place December 26-28 in Tarrytown, NY.
At this biennial convention, the Orthodox Union hosts the larger Jewish community to participate in shiurim and lectures on topics relevant to their constituents. This year, the convention will highlight issues facing Jewish communities around the world and focus on attaining global Jewish unity. Topics will include day school affordability, pre/post nuptial agreements, bringing women to the communal leadership table, and heightened global anti-Semitism.
President Joel will speak at the Installation dinner on the topic of “Partnerships of Purpose” and Rav Schachter will deliver two lectures, “Laws of Shmittah for the Consumer” and “Mitzvot Being Adam L’Chaveiro- Tzedakah and Chessed.”
Matthew Miller, associate professor of English at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, published an essay, “Getting the Joke in ‘Of Being Numerous’: George Oppen’s Response to Walt Whitman” in the current issue of Resources for American Literary Study. He has another article forthcoming in 2015 in College Literature. New poems by Miller, “Further Travels” and “Poppies,” were recently published in Transom. He will be giving a talk on the poet Wallace Stevens at the Modern Language Association Conference in Vancouver, Canada, from January 8-11, 2015, and reading new poems at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, New York, in February.
Dr. Emil Prodan, professor of physics at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, recently published an article in Physical Review B. Titled “Effect of strong disorder on three-dimensional chiral topological insulators: Phase diagrams, maps of the bulk invariant, and existence of topological extended bulk states,” the article explores topological phase transitions and strong disorder effects for 3-dimensional topological insulations. Carolyn Fine ‘14S, an pre-engineering major at Stern College for Women, contributed to the research and article as Prodan’s research fellow, supported by a five-year $425,000 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation.
Professor Steven Chan, assistant professor of marketing at Sy Syms School of Business, recently contributed to the study “Not All Fakes are Created Equal: Cultural Differences in Considering Counterfeits,” together with Professor Nelson Amaral of the Kogod School of Business at American University. The study, funded by a grant from the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight, surveyed hundreds of students from various cultural backgrounds at multiple US universities. Their results suggest that people across different cultures consider counterfeit products in varying ways. While work still remains to pin down the process behind the cultural difference, preliminary evidence supports their theory that people with an East Asian background, when compared with people of other cultural backgrounds, are more tolerant of changes in genuine products that make up counterfeit products. The study links this tolerance for change in products to a cognitive style, more prevalent in East Asia, that appreciates a more holistic view of what constitutes an authentic object. This continuing work aims to uncover a more dynamic understanding of the growing global issue of counterfeit consumption.
Dr. Linda Shires, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English and chair of the English department at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, has book reviews forthcoming in Victorian Studies, Victorian Institute & Journal, and Novel. Her essay “Conrad’s Theater of Masculinities” will appear in The Victorian Novel and Masculinity (Palgrave Macmillan February 2015), edited by Phillip Mallet. Shires’ essay on Thomas Hardy’s career is forthcoming in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature in 2015, and she will speak about Hardy at the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference in Ontario, Canada, from November 13-16, 2014, where she is chairing panels on 19th century illustration and on color theory.