Vivian Liska, "How 'Jewish' were the Writings and Identity of Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin?: Reflections on a Title"

David Lipson Memorial Lecture

What does it mean to speak of figures like Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin as Jewish authors and thinkers? How justified is it to call their writings "Jewish"? The lecture addresses fundamental questions concerning the adjective “Jewish” applied to modernist authors and texts in general, and to Kafka and Benjamin more specifically.

Vivian Liska is Professor of German literature and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is also, since 2013, Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Her research focuses on modernist literature, German-Jewish literature and culture, and literary theory. She is the editor of the De Gruyter book series "Perspectives on Jewish Texts and Contexts," and co-editor of numerous journals and books. Her recent book publications include Giorgio Agamben’s Empty Messianism and When Kafka Says We: Uncommon Communities in German-Jewish Literature. Her book German-Jewish Thought and its Aftermath: A Tenuous Legacy will be published with Indiana University Press in 2016.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Limited seating.

Presented by the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies

Date & Time
Monday, January 25, 2016 - 4:00pm

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100, 170 St. George Street