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Queer Expectations with Zohar Weiman-Kelman

February 8 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Author Reception, 6:00-7:15 pm

Services and Author Drash, 7:30 pm

Join Scholar and former Sha’ar Zahav member Zohar Weiman-Kelman as she introduces us to her new book, Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women’s Poetry, sharing the queer paths that lead between Jewish Women poets across languages, land and an entire century. Explore boundary-crossing journeys through the poetry of Emma Lazarus, Adrienne Rich, Irena Klepfisz and more over hors doeuvres and good company. Stay for services and hear her drash! Services led by Rabbi Copeland and Annie Atura.



Jewish women have had a fraught relationship with history, struggling for inclusion while resisting their limited role as (re)producers of the future. In Queer Expectations, Zohar Weiman-Kelman shows how Jewish women writers turned to poetry to write new histories, developing “queer expectancy” as a conceptual tool for understanding how literary texts can both invoke and resist what came before. Bringing together Jewish women’s poetry from the late nineteenth century, the interwar period, and the 1970s and 1980s, Weiman-Kelman takes readers on a boundary-crossing journey through works in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew, setting up encounters between writers of different generations, locations, and languages. Queer Expectationshighlights genealogical lines of continuity drawn by authors as diverse as Emma Lazarus, Kadya Molodowsky, Leah Goldberg, Anna Margolin, Irena Klepfisz, and Adrienne Rich. These poets push back against heteronormative imperatives of biological reproduction and inheritance, opting instead for connections that twist traditional models of gender and history. Looking backward in queer ways enables new histories to emerge, intervenes in a troubled present, and gives hope for unexpected futures.

Queer Expectations is one of the most original books of literary analysis, historiography, biography, and queer theory I have ever read. Its originality and its methodology turn traditional ways of thinking about literary analysis, questions of influence, and what queer can mean upside down. This is a truly brilliant book.” — Evelyn Torton Beck, editor of Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology, Revised and Updated Edition

Zohar Weiman-Kelman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign literatures and Linguistics in Ben-Gurion University. Zohar received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Gender Women’s Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Zohar was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and an associate scholar at the Humanities Forum on Sex, both at the University of Pennsylvania. See her on youtube!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KJgMVR0GUw


February 8
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm