"New Jerusalem, Down Under: The Search for a Jewish Homeland in Australia," Lecture Oct. 28

"New Jerusalem, Down Under: The Search for a Jewish Homeland in Australia," Lecture Oct. 28

Co-Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Judaic Studies Program

Adam Rovner, PhD, author and associate professor of English and Jewish literature at University of Denver, will deliver a lecture entitled, “New Jerusalem, Down Under: The Search for a Jewish Homeland in Australia.” The lecture will be held on Monday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at Fairfield University Dining Room. 

In his lecture, Dr. Rovner will discuss the cultural context and legacy of proposals to create mass settlements of Jewish refugees in Australia during the Nazi era. Archives during this era showed poets, playwrights, journalists, civil servants, humanitarians, and social revolutions worked together to envision Jewish colonization in Australia. This little-known part of history stems from a long tradition of Jewish Territorialism, a political ideology that merges literary imagination with nationalist projects. During the 20th century, the question was not whether there should be a Jewish political entity, but where to put it. The abortive efforts to settle Jews in the Kimberley region and in southwestern Tasmania dramatize the story of centuries of Jewish homelessness.

Dr. Rovner served as a Lady Davis Fellow in the department of English at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2015-2016. He has published academic work in leading journals and scholarly volumes, including an award-winning essay on Zionist plans to colonize East Africa in What Ifs of Jewish History (Cambridge 2016). His articles have appeared in numerous outlets, including The Forward, History Today (UK), Jewish Renaissance (UK), The Jewish Review of Books, Paper Brigade, American History, World Literature Today, and Words Without Borders. His short documentary, "No Land Without Heaven: Isaac Nachman Steinberg and the Freeland League," was screened at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, Bibliotheque Medem in Paris, and the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Contact the Bennett Center at bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066 for reservations.

“New Jerusalem, Down Under: The Search for a Jewish Homeland in Australia”

Date: Monday, October 28, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Conference Center at Fairfield University Dining Room

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