Event: Jewish Manuscripts in the Digital Age: The Cairo Geniza and the New Materiality
Dr. Marina Rustow
2019 Samuel & Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies
May 14 & 16, 2019, Kane Hall 220, 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Marina Rustow (Princeton University), a MacArthur Fellow, will explain how new technologies, including crowdsourcing, facial recognition, and AI, have enabled her groundbreaking research on the medieval Islamic & Jewish world, spanning from northeastern Africa through the Middle East. Rustow will explain how documents from the “Cairo Geniza” — a trove of nearly 400,000 manuscript pages preserved in an Egyptian synagogue — have transformed historians’ understanding of life in this region in the medieval era.
Both lectures will be richly illustrated with documents from the Geniza, which include biblical and literary texts, notes, receipts, and official records, and encompass early books, vertical and horizontal scrolls, and all kinds of texts from across the centuries.
Learn more & RSVP here.
Marina Rustow is the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East and Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History at Princeton University. Her first book, “Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate,” was published in 2008, and she is currently working on another volume looking at state documents found within the Cairo Geniza. She runs the Princeton Geniza Lab.
In 2002, Rustow was the Hazel D. Cole Fellow in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, and in 2015, she received a MacArthur Fellowship supporting her work. She is the co-editor of “Jewish Studies at the Crossroads of Anthropology and History: Authority, Diaspora, Tradition” (2011) and has published scholarly articles in such journals as “Past & Present, Jewish History, al-Qantara, Mamlūk Studies Review, and Ginzei Qedem: Geniza Research Annual.”
Photo via the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation