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This conference was held April 2019, in honor of the late Jonathan M. Hess, who led the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies for its first 10 years, and later served as department chair of the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures. Production of a publication of the conference talks is scheduled to begin work in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Video of the conference will be posted on our Vimeo site during summer 2019.
View photos of the event.




The Center  co-organized, in collaboration with the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures, a symposium honoring Hess and his work. The symposium captured the breadth and depth of his scholarship and teaching under the title: Moments of Enlightenment: German Jewish Interactions from the 18th Century to the Present and it took place in Chapel Hill, April 13-15, 2019. This three day conference brought together colleagues and collaborators, as well as former students, of Jonathan Hess.


Saturday night, the conference opened with a keynote address by Martha Helfer, of Rutgers University, titled: Maurice Sendak’s Dear Mili: A Contrapuntal Elegy. The next day was a full day of talks and roundtable discussions, which continued Monday morning. Nearly 50 colleagues and former students were scheduled to participate in the conference.


To honor Hess’s commitment to supporting junior scholars and cultivating future faculty leaders, the College has established the Jonathan M. Hess Career Development Term Assistant Professorship. The fund, which will support a term professorship for a tenure-track assistant professor in the fine arts and humanities, was made possible through generous gifts made to the College in Hess’s memory.


Organized by: Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and the UNC Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Co-sponsored by:

UNC-CH: Eli N. Evans Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Guy B. Johnson Professorship Fund, Department of English and Comparative Literature, John H. and Anna W. Hanes Professorship Fund, Department of Religious Studies, Department of History, and Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies.
Duke University: Germanic Languages and Literature, Center for Jewish Studies.


Keynote Schedule Venues About Jonathan