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The End of the World and the Beginning of Hasidic Literature

Monday, March 26, 2018
12:30pm – 1:45pm

Storrs Campus
Oak Hall Room 236

Professor Ofer Dynes of McGill University will present "The End of the World and the Beginning of Hasidic Literature" for the Center for Judaic Studies Faculty Colloquium series.

A complimentary kosher lunch will be served.

Please RSVP to attend:

This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

About the Presentation

Professor Dynes will discuss his book, The Fiction of the State: The Information Revolution in Eastern Europe and the Beginning of Modern Jewish Literature (1772-1848), which centers on the rise of Hasidic literature. Traditionally, scholars have interpreted the tales of Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1810), a Hasidic leader, as an esoteric expression of his relationship with God. Fittingly, the political themes in the tales, the legends on the lives of kings, queens, princesses, and nobles, were understood to be thinly veiled kabalistic allegories, void of concrete historical experience or historical reference. This talk offers a new interpretative model of Nahman’s tales and their allegorical structure and, more generally, of his theological-political-literary vision. Drawing on Nahman’s vernacular literary theory, as well as on his recently discovered “scroll of secrets,” his encoded messianic prophecy, Professor Dynes will show how we can read the tales both as allegory and as mimetic, concrete reference to the political reality in partitioned Poland.

About the Speaker

Ofer Dynes (PhD. Harvard, 2016) is the Ethel Flegg Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McGill University where he teaches Hebrew and Yiddish literature and Jewish cultural history. His research has been supported by the Posen Society of Fellows, the Center for Jewish History, the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University, the Lviv Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, and the Austrian Fund for Social Sciences, among other institutions.

If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Pamela Weathers at 860-486-2271 or


Pamela Weathers, 860-486-2271,

Judaic Studies (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, English Department, Humanities Institute, Literatures, Cultures and Languages, UConn Master Calendar

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