Faculty Accomplishments from Spring and Summer 2020

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share a sample of recent accomplishments, publications, awards, and news from affiliated faculty from spring and summer 2020. Please join us in congratulating our affiliated faculty members Robert Alter, Karen Barkey, Robert Braun, Charles Hirschkind, Ethan Katz, Henrike C. Lange, Rita Lucarelli, Joanna Picciotto, Ronit Stahl, Jonathan Sheehan, and Francesco Spagnolo on these achievements!



Robert Alter, BCSR & Center for Jewish Studies, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewish Book Council for his mon­u­men­tal and decades-long project The Hebrew Bible: A Trans­la­tion with Com­men­tary (W. W. Nor­ton & Company). His book The Art of Bible Translation was published in the spring of 2019, and he received a 2019 Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

BCSR Co-Director Karen Barkey delivered a talk on “Making Sense of Hagia Sophia’s Conversion,” published on Reset Dialogues on Civilizations, which can be viewed here.

BCSR Advisory Board member Robert Braun presented the lecture “Protectors of Pluralism: Religious Minorities and the Rescue of Jews in the Low Countries During the Holocaust” with the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, the Center for the Study of Europe, and co-sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies and the minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies. An audio recording of his lecture can be found on Boston’s NPR news station 90.9 WBUR-FM’s website here.

BCSR Advisory Board member Charles Hirschkind’s new book The Feeling of History: Islam, Romanticism, and Andalusia, published with the University of Chicago Press, comes out this Fall. “The Feeling of History examines the idea of andalucismo—a modern tradition founded on the principle that contemporary Andalusia is linked in vitally important ways with medieval Islamic Iberia. Charles Hirschkind explores the works and lives of writers, thinkers, poets, artists, and activists and shows how together they have elaborated an Andalusian sensorium. Hirschkind also carefully traces the various itineraries of andalucismo, from both colonial and anti-colonial efforts to contemporary movements supporting immigrant rights. The Feeling of History offers a nuanced view into the way people experience their own past while bearing witness to a philosophy of engaging the Middle East that experiments with alternative futures.” More information can be found here.

Ethan Katz, (History and Jewish Studies), BCSR affiliate, saw the anthology he recently co-edited, Colonialism and the Jews (Indiana University Press, 2017) selected as a Finalist for the 2019 National Jewish Book Awards, in the Anthologies and Collections category.

Henrike C. Lange won the 2020 Prytanean Faculty Award, which honors an outstanding woman junior faculty member on the Berkeley campus. Through a competitive process, the winner is chosen for her record as a distinguished teacher, her demonstrated scholarly achievement, and her success as a role model for students at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rita Lucarelli recently participated in the virtual event “Cultural Objects and the Replication of Knowledge Virtually with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum” with Mariane Ferme and Jess Johnson (a recording of which can be found on the Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley’s Arts & Ideas website here).

BCSR Advisory Board member Joanna Picciotto recently published the article “Truth-Telling, Mass Media, and The Poet’s Office” in English Literary History, which can be found on the Project Muse website here. In the past year her work also appeared in two essay-collections: an essay on physico-theology for Nature and Value, ed. Akeel Bilgrami, and an essay on Wesleyan Methodism in Imagining Toleration: A Literary History of an Idea, eds. David Alvarez and Alison Conway.

BCSR Advisory Board member Ronit Stahl, BCSR Advisory Board Member & Center for Jewish Studies affiliate, was awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize from the American Society for Church History, which honors outstanding scholarship in church history by a first-time author, for her book Enlisting Faith: How The Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2017).

Ronit Stahl was also recently interviewed for the article “Sacramento Muslims Celebrate Eid—Outside and Six Feet Apart,” which can be found on the Capital Public Radio Network’s website here.

BCSR Co-Founder Jonathan Sheehan wrote a reflection on “MODERNITY,” published in The Immanent Frame, and which can be viewed here.

Francesco Spagnolo has been named the new Scholar in Residence for the “Jews and Music” initiative of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. “Jews & Music (JAM) is a continuous exploration that probes the rich legacies of Jewish composers and performers; non-Jews who worked with Jews or drew inspiration from them; the socio-political milieu they inhabited; and Jewish themes that have emerged across music and visual art over time.” For more information on the Jews & Music (JAM) initiative, please see the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale Jews & Music webpage here.

Francesco Spagnolo has also been involved with a number of virtual events recently, including:

“Scent and Sensibility Researching and Collecting around a Ritual Spice Box” with Molly Robinsin (a recording of which can be found on the Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley’s Arts & Ideas website here).

“Threads of Jewish Life” (a recording of which can be found on The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life website here).

“India, Israel and Berkeley” with Samson Koletkar, Matan Zamir, and Soma Chatterjee (an audio recording of which can be found on the Commonwealth Club of California’s website here).

Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming communications about Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi’s Weekly Curatorial Conversations from the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, where they will be discussing insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley’s Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and Life, one object at a time.