A Brief History of the Jewish Taste for Horror: A Live Illustrated Zoom Lecture by Jewish Studies Scholar Ilaria Briata
What is peculiar in Jewish aesthetical representations of the experience of fear? In order to sketch an introductory answer to this thorny yet neglected question, this talk will explore a selection of literary examples composed in Hebrew and Aramaic from the Biblical period to the end of the 18th century.
Over the course of this illustrated lecture, we will encounter some notorious characters of the Jewish tradition, such as the golem, the dybbuk, and Lilith, but also other universal figures from the classic horrific imagery, such as witches, giants, cannibals, and zombies. Will it be thus, the talk posits, possible to speak of Jewish horror?
Ilaria Briata (Padua, Italy, 1986) is a scholar in Jewish studies, specializing in rabbinic and early modern Hebrew literature. She studied in Venice, Madrid, and Jerusalem and is now working as a post-doc researcher in Hamburg. She has always been enticed by all things metaphysically weird, bodily morbid, and humanly surreal.
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