A Shared Tradition: The Islamic Art of Muslims and Jews

Lecture by Vivian Mann, Director of Program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture, Jewish Theological Seminary

Eccles Business Building, October 24, 4:00 pm

Until recently, Islamic lands were multicultural societies that included large Jewish and Christian minorities, so that works made by and for non-Muslims can appropriately be studied together with art made for followers of Islam. In various periods, for example, Qur'ans and Hebrew Bibles shared the same system of decoration, and Jews were the primary silver and goldsmiths of Muslim countries. The cross-cultural nature of Islamic art resulted in a rich flowering during the medieval and early modern periods. Dr. Vivian Mann is director of the Master's Program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary. For many years, Dr. Mann was Morris and Eva Feld Chair of Judaica at The Jewish Museum, where she created numerous exhibitions and their catalogs, among them Gardens and Ghettos: The Art of Jewish Life in Italy; Convivencia: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Spain; and, most recently, Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land. In 2000, her Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts was published by Cambridge University Press, and in 2005, her Art and Ceremony in Jewish Life: Essays in the History of Jewish Art, was published by Pindar Press. In 2010, Dr. Mann curated the exhibition Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians and Altarpieces in Medieval Spain at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA).

The Role of the Bystander in the Holocaust Death Marches, January-May 1945

Professor Amos N. Guiora

Work in Progress, November 20th - Tanner Humanities Center , Carolyn Irish Tanner Humanities Building,

12 noon - Lunch will be served | CTIHB 143, Jewel Box

Professor Guiora is a member of the U of U faculty of law

One of the under-appreciated and seldom told stories of the Holocaust is the death marches in 1945, when the fate of Hitler's Germany was clear to most. In spite of the war's all but inevitable end, German prisoner guards, male and female alike, undertook a series of death marches through towns, largely in eastern Germany and Poland, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews formerly held in concentration camps, but not freed from captivity. The death marches were a march to nowhere for the guards had no destination, had not been given orders as to where to take their Jewish captives and had no plan but to keep walking.

The marches, which lasted weeks, were visible to thousands upon thousand of German and Polish citizens who stood by passively by the wayside as the Jews were marched through their villages and towns. Some would suggest that the passive reaction of German and Polish civilians represents the "banality of evil" as articulated by Hannah Arendt. However, this is an open question. What is clear is that the overwhelmingly passive reaction of German and Polish citizens contributed to the deaths of the starved, weakened, and dying Jews who had miraculously survived the concentration camps.

The question before us is: "What is the legal and moral culpability of the bystander?" Answering this question requires examining questions of legality, morality, history, and culture. Without a doubt many lessons, painful as they may be, can be drawn from this tragic historical event.

Associate Professor, Department of English Chair of the Initiative in Jewish Studies University of Utah

 Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the Leonardo