One way to encounter misrepresentations and stereotypes—and to understand its meaning—is to study history and culture. This was one of the scholarly goals 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.


The Center is co-organizing, in collaboration with the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures, a symposium honoring Hess and his work. The symposium will capture 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 will take place in Chapel Hill, April 13-15, 2019. This three day conference brings together colleagues and collaborators, as well as former students, of Jonathan Hess. The event is open to the public, no tickets or reservations required.


Saturday night, the conference opens with a keynote address by Martha Helfer, of Rutgers University, titled: Maurice Sendak’s Dear Mili: A Contrapuntal Elegy. The next day is a full day of talks and roundtable discussions, which continue Monday morning. Nearly 50 colleagues and former students are 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