Political Ramifications: Expanding Jewish Political Thought
During the 2016–2017 academic year, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to expand the study of Jewish political thought.
Over the course of their history, Jews have championed a range of ideological views and operated within a variety of political contexts. These experiences have generated a rich body of political thought, but there is an ongoing need to advance such thought in light of new developments in political theory and a changing world beyond academia. One way forward is to continue to stretch the boundaries of Jewish political thought in ways that intersect with the study of law, religion, history, literature, and other subjects, or that approach the subject in a comparative framework.
The Katz Center seeks applications from scholars working in fields from ancient to contemporary, welcoming projects that enlist philosophy and theory to unsettle regnant paradigms of power and statehood, that draw on archival research to challenge established understandings of Jewish political history, or that make use of other less expected sources for political thought.
Research themes may include but are not limited to:
- Intersections with Religion and Culture. Recent years have seen a revived interest in the subject of political theology. How does Jewish political thought address the entanglement between religion and politics? Can and should political debates inform the development of Jewish theology, and can Jewish theology provide conceptual resources with which to tackle political problems?
- Comparative Study. How do categories and concepts from general political theory inform Jewish traditions of authority and membership? And what, conversely, can Jewish thought contribute to wider debates about topics such as sovereignty, allegiance, and citizenship?
- Law as Politics. Relevant projects could raise questions that span law and politics such as those concerning governance, jurisdiction, and Halakhah. They may investigate the politics of those who develop Jewish legal traditions or explore the relationship between those traditions and their political contexts.
- Finding the Political in the Local and the Everyday. General political theory has identified political logics and structures not only in the state but also in a range of more local contexts, including family, city, school, and congregation. What insights emerge from applying this theoretical approach to Jewish life?
How to Apply: 2016–2017 Katz Center Fellowship
The Katz Center invites applications from scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts at all levels, as well as outstanding graduate students in the final stages of writing their dissertations. Scholars whose work fits squarely into theproposed research topic are eligible to apply. Fellowships granted may be for one semester or the full academic year.Scholars are required to spend the term of the fellowship in residence in Philadelphia at the Katz Center.
The Fellowship carries an annual stipend of a maximum of $60,000 plus single-coverage health insurance (fellows are responsible for coverage for any dependents). The stipend amount is based on academic standing and financial need.
The fellowship is open to all scholars, national and international, who meet application terms. International scholars are appointed under a J-1 visa only (Research Scholar status). No exceptions can be made, and the Katz Center reserves the right to cancel awards if the recipient is unable to meet this condition. Applicants should consult the international programs office at their current university to confirm eligibility before applying for this fellowship.
Application Deadline: November 1, 2015
- Click here to download the application form, which should be filled out and saved as a PDF. Name it "Application-last name-first name.pdf" (e.g., Application-Franklin-Ben.pdf)
- Prepare a curriculum vitae, which should be submitted as a PDF. Name it “CV-last name-first name.pdf”(e.g., CV-Franklin-Ben.pdf)
- Prepare a proposal, which should be 750-1000 words and submitted as a separate PDF. Name it “Proposal-last name-first name.pdf” (e.g., Proposal-Franklin-Ben.pdf)
- Arrange for three (3) letters of recommendation. Each referee should upload their letter to our secure server as a PDF only. The submission deadline for referees is November 1, 2015. We strongly encourage you to contact your referees early enough to give them adequate time to meet this deadline. You will receive an automated email once they have submitted the letter.
- Upload and submit your application, c.v., and proposal to our secure webform. Applications must be submitted online.
- Successful applications will proceed to a confirmation page and will receive an automated email confirming that the application has been received. Fellowship recipients will be notified by March 1, 2016.
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