Upcoming

Yair Harel, Musician

Jewish Nightlife is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the nexus between the ritual performance of Jewish texts and social changes across Jewish history, including Hebrew poetry, music, and synagogue liturgy in Europe, in North Africa, the Middle East, and present-day Israel. The program includes solo and ensemble performances by UC Berkeley students and participants in the Piyut North America project at The Magnes, led by Israeli visiting artist , Yair Harel.

Yair Harel is a world-renowned Israeli performer, artistic director, and community organizer, active in the revival and contemporary interpretation of the ancient art of piyyut (liturgical Hebrew poetry). Born in Jerusalem, Harel received a traditional Jewish education before going on to study zarb (Persian drum) in Israel and France, tar and Persian classical music with Peretz Eliyhau, improvisation with André Hajdu, and Jewish-Andalusian Vocal tradition with Rabbis Meir Atiyah and Haim Louk. Harel is one of the main figures behind the “Piyut” scene that has revolutionized the face of Israeli musical culture, and is a founding member of the “Singing Communities Project” in Israel. Harel’s residency at The Magnes in the Fall Semester 2014 is is sponsored by the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program of the Israel Institute.

Presented by the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (http://www.magnes.org/visit/exhibitions-programs/programs/jewish-nightlife) with the Center for Jewish Studies, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies.

William Littman, Senior Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Visual Studies, California College of the Arts

For more than a century, Bay Area architects have created some of the nation’s most innovative religious architecture, ranging from the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Berkeley by Bernard Maybeck to the award-winning Congregation Beth Sholom Synagogue in San Francisco designed by Stanley Saitowitz in 2009. This talk explores the history of experimental and radical religious architecture in Northern California, with a special focus on design after the Second World War, as architects responded to changes in liturgical practices in the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II as well as the progressive ideals of Protestant and Jewish congregations in the region. It also explores the contribution of 1960s countercultural groups that further pushed the boundaries of religious architecture, often using forms borrowed from Native American and Buddhist religious traditions.(Littmann)

William Littmann is a Senior Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts, teaching architectural history in the Architecture and Visual Studies departments. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.A. in print journalism from Columbia University. Recent areas of study include the landscape and architecture of Japanese incarceration during World War II, farmworker communities in California Central Valley, and a history of the El Camino Real corridor in California from Native American settlement to the rise of Silicon Valley.

Sara McClintock, Associate Professor of Tibetan and Indian Buddhism, Emory University

Sara McClintock is Associate Professor of Religion at Emory University, where she teaches courses in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and interpretation theory in the study of religion. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Bryn Mawr College (1983), her master’s degree in world religions from Harvard Divinity School (1989), and her doctorate in religion from Harvard University (2002). Her interests include narrative, philosophy, and contemplative practices, with particular focus on issues of rationality, rhetoric, reading, embodiment, emptiness, and ethics. She is author of Omniscience and the Rhetoric of Reason: Santaraksita and Kamalasila on Rationality, Argumentation, and Religious Authority (2010) and co-editor with Georges Dreyfus of The Svatantrika-Prasangika Distinction: What Difference Does a Difference Make? (2003). Recent writings include “Compassionate Trickster: The Buddha as a Literary Character in the Narratives of Early Indian Buddhism” (2011) and an article on the status of phenomenal content (akara) in cognition in Kamalasila’s Tattvasamgrahapanjika (2013). She is co-translator with John Dunne of Nagarjuna’s Ratnavali.

Co-presented by the Center for Buddhist Studies.

Webb Keane, George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michican, Ann Arbor

Fanny Howe, Poet, Essayist, Novelist

Co-presented by the Holloway Poetry Series.