Upcoming Conference

Please join the Southern Jewish Historical Society for our 47th Annual Conference, October 20-22, 2023, at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Program details and registration will be available here soon.

Call for Papers: “Space and Place in Southern Jewish History”

The Southern Jewish Historical Society will convene in Houston, Texas on the campus of Rice University for its 47th annual conference on October 20-22, 2023. The conference is co-sponsored by Rice’s Program in Jewish Studies and the Joan and Stanford Alexander South Texas Jewish Archives. Known as the “Bayou City,” “Energy City,” “Clutch City,” and “Space City,” Houston’s many names highlight its diverse and rich history. The city’s multifaceted identity reflects its position as a crossroad between the American South and the American West, and between Latin America and the United States.

As we gather just around the corner from the NASA Johnson Space Center, this year’s conference theme is “Space and Place in Southern Jewish History.” We seek to understand how physical spaces—neighborhoods, borders, boundaries, and the built environment—have shaped southern Jewish history, and we also aspire to make space in the field for underrepresented narratives, such as the experiences of Jews of Latinx, Black, Sephardi, and Middle Eastern/North African descent, exploring how they have made a place for themselves in the American South.

Centering the notion of “space and place” in various ways, paper and panel submissions are encouraged to explore southern Jewish history through the lens of social, cultural, environmental, transnational, and legal frameworks. How has the idea of “space”—whether homeland, border, diaspora, neighborhood, or building—informed and transformed southern Jewish identity? How can mapping software and other digital humanities tools help us to understand the southern Jewish experience in new ways? How have southern Jews found their place in a region defined by racial, political, sexual, and other boundaries? Finally, how does making space for southern Jews who identify as Latinx, Black, Sephardi, or Middle Eastern Jews, as well as those who come from Crypto-Jewish backgrounds, modify and enrich our understanding of southern Jewish identity?

The deadline for panel and paper proposals is March 15, 2023. We are especially interested in roundtables and workshops, in addition to traditional panels, and we encourage submissions from graduate students. Please send a proposal and curriculum vitae, as well as any questions, to conference co-chairs Joshua Furman and Mark Goldberg at [email protected].