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MusicPart of Humanities

Online Mini-Hartley Residency with Dr. Assaf Shellag, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Seminar

Dr. Assaf Shellag book
14:30 - 17:00
11 November 2020
Microsoft Teams

Event details

The music department is delighted to welcome Assaf Shellag, Hebrew University of Jerusalem for an online Mini-Hartley Residency.

This public online event will take place on Microsoft Teams. If you are not a staff or student at University of Southampton and would like to attend, please contact Matthew Shlomowitz at 

14:30 – 15:30: Against Otherness

The talk examines musicologists’ employments of tropes of Otherness and the methodological pitfalls such employment involves. A case in point would be the way recent studies have grappled with the essentialist texts that dominated the histories and histographies of Jewish art music in the twentieth century (or better, art music written by or about Jews).

16:00 – 17;00: Israeli Art Music as Art Music

Art music in Israel has been conditioned by territorialism from its very institutionalization in the 1930s (prior to the founding of the State of Israel) and at least until the late 1970s. Territorialism has also conditioned most of the historical accounts on this habitat, including its cultural histories whose phases were punctuated by political dates (mostly wars and elections). Annals of this kind have subsequently eclipsed both the post-ideological age (wherein national topoi were muted and rendered inoperative) as well as the histories that preceded the emergence of art music in Palestine/Israel, particularly composers’ works prior to their emigration. The talk will attempt to remap this scene looking at the bigger canvas of modern and contemporary art music.

Speaker information

Dr. Assaf Shellag. Assaf Shelleg’s book Jewish Contiguities and the Soundtrack of Israeli History (Oxford University Press, 2014) won the 2015 Engle Prize for the Study of Hebrew Music and the 2016 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies (a German translation appeared with Mohr Siebeck in 2017: Musikalische Grenzgänge; Europäisch-jüdische Kunstmusik und der Soundtrack der israelischen Geschichte). Shelleg’s new book Theological Stains: Art Music and the Zionist Project is scheduled to appear this month (Nov 11th) with Oxford University. Shelleg is also a regular musical contributor to Ha’aretz newspaper. Assaf is Senior Lecturer of musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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