Academic Symposium: “Hebrew and the Humanities: Present Tense”
May 24, 2016, 9am-4:30pm
Stroum Lectures: “Hebrew and the Creative Imagination”
May 23 & 24, 2016
Dara Horn & Ilan Stavans
The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies’ 2016 symposium, Hebrew and the Humanities: Present Tense, considered distinctive challenges facing the field of Hebrew language and culture and the experience of Americans who have traversed the cultural distance from English to Hebrew.

Why do they do it? What have they gained? How does the embattled position of Hebrew reflect the broader challenges of language arts and humanities education today?

How We Connect to Hebrew

Short essays by symposium participants reflecting on their connection to the Hebrew language.

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Conference Schedule

Daytime panels from 9am-4:30pm on May 24th will be open to the public with advance registration.

About the Speakers

Participants include scholars and translators of Hebrew language from across the United States.

The Hebrew & the Humanities Symposium was held in conjunction with the prestigious Stroum Lecture Series hosted annually at the University of Washington by the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies. Renowned writers and scholars Dara Horn and Ilan Stavans presented the Stroum lectures on the topic of “Hebrew and the Creative Imagination” on the evenings of May 23 and 24, 2016. The daytime symposium on May 24 included leading American scholars and translators of Hebrew, and was sponsored by the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, the Simpson Center for Humanities, Dr. Elie Levy, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and the Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media.

Dara Horn and Ilan Stavans spoke with Adam Rovner about Hebrew in American Jewish culture and in the academy. See more videos from and read a writeup of the conference.

The planning committee consisted of Naomi Sokoloff (UW), Hannah Pressman (UW), and Nancy Berg (Washington University). It was our hope that the gathering would be a productive jumping-off point to consider pressing questions about the state of language study in higher education today. The rich interdisciplinary conversation at the symposium traversed topics such as transnational literatures, translation, pedagogy, and identity.

Modern Hebrew at the University of Washington

Naomi-SokoloffOrganizer Prof. Naomi Sokoloff is the Director of Modern Hebrew and Israel Studies at the University of Washington. She publishes regular blog posts about issues in the study of the Hebrew language and Hebrew-related events on campus.

Learn more about Hebrew Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization. The curriculum includes elementary & intermediate Modern Hebrew, cultural surveys taught in English, and Hebrew literature in translation.

Support Hebrew at the University of Washington

Support the continued teaching of Hebrew at the University of Washington.

Make a Donation

This symposium is generously supported by


& Dr. Elie Levy


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