2011 Conference
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Sharonah Fredrick

Sharonah Fredrick is an educator who has lectured and published on Judeo-Spanish history, Native American civilization in Latin America, and folklore in Spanish, English, Hebrew and Portuguese. Her BA in anthropology and literature is from SUNY Buffalo, an MA in Latin American Renaissance history from Tel Aviv, and is writing her Phd thesis at SUNY Stony Brook on Latin American Indian literature.

King Arthur and King David: Literary Brothers

How Biblical accounts seeped into English legend

College/University Student Recommended, Global Culture & History

The extraordinary compendium of medieval Arthurian legends which is Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Kings of Britain," derives its sources equally from Celtic and Old Testament narratives. Intertwining in equal measure elements of both the Davidic and Solomonic characters, together with early historical (and fictional) sources from the Dark Ages, Geoffrey, writing in the 12th century, created a framework in which Jewish, Christian, and pre-Christian Celtic culture fused to forge Arthurian dramatic tales.

Lilith and Female Sexuality in Sephardic Lore

Analyzing the Demonic and the Feminine in Judaism

College/University Student Recommended, Global Culture & History, Text & Thought

This lecture will focus on concrete references to Lilith in Jewish mythology, citing not only the Bible and the Zohar, but less obvious references in Sephardic music and poetry, in order to clarify the relationship between the ideas of sin and magic, and their ambivalent connection to the feminine principle in medieval and early Renaissance Jewish tradition. Special attention will be paid to the non-Jewish elements inherent in the Lilith legend, such as Babylonian, Spanish and Muslim motifs.

Mythical Jews of Renaissance Peru

Untangling Fact from Jewish and Inquisition Myths

College/University Student Recommended, Global Culture & History

In the seventeenth century, a daring Portuguese Jewish explorer decided to challenge both the Spanish Conquest of the New World, on the one hand, and the Inquisition, on the other, in order to supposedly "discover" one of the Ten Lost tribes in the jungles of Peru and Ecuador. His mythical recounting-and outright invention-of the jungle Jews of the Amazon nonetheless had profound consequences for Jewish history, including eventual legalization of the Jewish presence in post-Cromwell England.

Understanding the Armenian Holocaust in Context

Prelude to Genocide: Jews Look at Armenian Deaths

Global Culture & History

Among the first witnesses of the genocide committed on the Armenian population in Turkey were Jewish scholars and journalists, one of whom actually coined the term "genocide" to describe the phenomenon of ethnic extermination that was occurring, with impunity, under the eyes of an apathetic world. Not so many years later, Adolf Hitler cited the precedent of the Armenian deaths as model for his own plans of "ethnic purity" in Europe. The importance of understanding the killings will be detailed.

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