Postdoctoral Fellow and Digital Humanities Specialist, UC Santa Cruz
Ari Y. Kelman
Chair in Education and Jewish Studies, Stanford University
Curator, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and
Lecturer, Department of Music, UC Berkeley
Co-Director, Center for Jewish Studies, UC Santa Cruz
The ongoing revolutions in computing power and digital technologies have opened up new modes of understanding and engagement for scholars in all fields. Enhanced computing power has already enabled the collection and analysis of large amounts of data such as pages of Talmud, narrative themes in diverse bodies of literature, historical events, and various forms of quantitative data. For others, digital tools have provided new modes of access to formerly inaccessible documents, sites, and other phenomena – prominent examples include the Shoah Foundation’s work to enable its twenty year history in collecting Holocaust testimonies to be searchable and accessible, and the efforts of Jewish museums to catalogue and curate large cultural collections online.
As the field of Jewish Studies confronts new possibilities for scholarly research, analysis, and communication in the digital age, we take up the challenge of employing digital tools to ask new questions about the Jewish past, present, and future and illuminate connections previously unseen or unimagined. In this event, we seek to explore how these new methodologies and theories can direct future inquiries in Jewish Studies and ask if Jewish Studies has something unique to bring to the Digital Humanities.
The Academic Consortium brings faculty and graduate students in the field of Jewish Studies together with their peers from throughout Northern California, providing intellectual exchange and a sense of community beyond what is available on any individual campus. Administered by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund since 1988, and funded by the Swig Family Fund for Jewish Community Involvement, the Academic Consortium also bridges Jewish Studies faculty with the organized Jewish community, for the mutual benefit of both communities.