CFP: Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity and History of Biblical Interpretation (AJS, 17-19 December 2017, Washington, DC)

The 49th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies will be held December 17-19, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, DC.  The deadline for submission of proposals is Thursday, May 4, 2017.

1. Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity
The division of the history of the Jews and Judaism in the Persian, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine period invites scholars to think about the larger historiographic and cultural contexts in which we write and interpret the Jewish past. In 2017 we would be particularly excited by the following themes, and also invite you to suggest sessions and individual lectures that suit your own interests and talents:
- The Jerusalem Temple: History, Tradition, and Culture. Ranging from literary studies to archaeology, cultural history to political history, we invite a range of new studies on the Temple and the continued engagement with it by Jews from Cyrus to Mohammed.
- Samaritanism and Judaism in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Recent scholarship and discoveries have invigorated research on Jewish-Samaritan (and sometimes Christian) relations in Greco-Roman antiquity.
- Josephus: Between Jewish Studies, Classics, and Religious Studies. This suggestion broaches the disciplinary perspectives on Josephus, and the ways that disciplinarity affects and is affected by Josephan scholarship. Questions might include issues of terminology (Jewish War vs. Judaean War) and larger theoretical issues.
- Purity, Holiness and Ritual in Ancient Judaism. Recent scholarship has shown particular interest in issues of purity and their ritual expression. It is hoped that this session will inspire consideration of these issues.
- Jewish Burial in Roman Antiquity. Discoveries across the Roman world, together with new methodological perspectives, have invigorated the study of Jewish burial practices. It is hoped that this session will serve as a catalyst for further discussion.
Division Chair: Steven Fine (Yeshiva University):

2. Bible and the History of Biblical Interpretation
Literature of the Bible; world of the Bible; early post-Biblical literature (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls); interpretation of the Bible from antiquity to modern times; all areas of critical biblical scholarship and history of interpretation
2017 Suggested Themes:
- The Museum of the Bible
- The Bible in Synagogue Art: From Ancient Mosaics to Modern Tapestries
- New Archaeological Discoveries – New Biblical Interpretations
- Continuum or Discontinuity: Moving from Inner-textual Biblical Interpretation to Rabbinic Exegesis
Division Co-chairs:
Yitzhak Berger (Hunter College):
Jonathan Kaplan (University of Texas at Austin):

AJS 2017 Important Dates and Deadlines
March 1, 2017: Proposal submission site available
May 4, 2017: Deadline for submission of conference proposals
August 2017: E-mail notification of conference proposal status
September 2017: Conference schedule posted online
November 15, 2017: Deadline for meal requests and pre-conference registration
November 15, 2017: Deadline for securing hotel room at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC at reduced conference rate
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the AJS website. This site will be available for submissions from Wednesday, March 1, 2017 through Thursday, May 4, 2017.  Questions should be directed to the AJS staff at ajs@ajs.cjh.or