Contemporary accounts in diaspora studies continue to contrast diaspora to the “center,” insist on a moment of (forced or voluntary) dispersion and continued longing for “home,” and the oppressiveness of the diasporic situation. In this lecture, Boyarin lays out a different notion of diaspora as a synchronic condition from which the conditions of its emergence have no significance. It is, moreover, a productive condition, not necessarily at all unwelcome to its participants. The Babylonian Talmud will provide the case study.
Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture at UC Berkeley in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, and currently a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin where the above topic is his subject for the year’s research.
An ICI Berlin Lecture in collaboration with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
The lecture is part of the ICI Lecture Series Constituting Wholes. After the disenchantments of the postmodern post-cold-war period and in the face of global crises – be they financial, economic, political, or ecological – the critical need to include a holistic perspective is felt with renewed urgency, as is the concern that the situatedness of any such perspective and the multiple, incommensurable ways of constituting wholes may be forgotten.