2024 Transforming the Discipline Award Lecture | Gabriel Chazan

Gabriel Chazan

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Hybrid Lecture
@ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

2024 Transforming the Discipline Award Lecture
“Susan Sontag and Jewish Aestheticism”
Gabriel Chazan (Ph.D. Candidate)
Friday, May 10th, 2024 | 2:00pm CT
Grainger Hall, Rm. 2510 | Zoom: https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/96033545759
Abstract: Susan Sontag is rarely thought of as a thinker engaged with Judaism, yet she spent much of her early career teaching the Old Testament at Columbia and thought deeply in response to theology. She also wrote directly from her Jewish background as a reference point in a way she did not around queerness. To think briefly about the types of ways that I aim to transform the discipline, a central focus is on looking outside of the largely secular and/or Christian focus of most writing on modern and contemporary art. In  this talk, I focus on the question of how Sontag’s teaching on Jewish texts influenced a key text of her aesthetic theory: “Against Interpretation.”
About the award:The primary priority of this award is to recognize the contributions of emerging scholars underrepresented in the field (e.g., Graduate Students who are Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color, including International Students of Color, Queer and/or Trans, and/or are Persons with Disabilities). This award also recognizes research that challenges entrenched expectations through its method, subject matter, theoretical orientation, and/or mode of exposition and form. Priority will, thus, be given to work aimed at exposing, critiquing, and/or altering entrenched aspects of structural biases in the discipline.