|Posted by Danny on October 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
Meredith Levick, first year Davidson student concentrating in Synagogue Leadership, reports on her core seminar's visit to the Jewish Museum.
This semester all first year JTS students are enrolled in one of three interdisciplinary core seminars, purposefully designed for incoming students to acclimate to the rigors and expectations of graduate school life at JTS, including an appreciation for Jewish history, culture, and perspectives. On September 28th, JTS faculty member Dr. Stefanie B. Siegmund (Associate Professor of Jewish History; Chair, Jewish Gender and Women's Studies) organized a guided tour of an exhibit at The Jewish Museum for students in her seminar, Signs and Symbols of Jewish Identity. After spending the first four weeks of class unpacking the language used in identifying and understanding symbols in relation to Jewishness and identity, students engaged in dialogue firsthand with the "Word Symbol Space" exhibit.
Associate Curator Karen Levitov (pictured above) navigated the class through the six pieces on display, all post-1970 works of art which use techniques of abstraction and visual wordplay. One particularly provocative piece by William Anastasi, a non-Jew, presents the audience with the the word "jew" splashed across the top left corner of a large scale white canvas in a black typewriter font. Levitov touched on discussions the students have had in class about how signs do and do not connect to a lexicon we already are familiar with in our daily lives. This tour provided students with an opportunity to approach the art intuitively and also through the eyes of the authors they have read in class, with theory, research, and context in mind.
For additional information about the exhibit: http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/word-symbol-space