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Amor Y Odio - The Jews in Spain and Beyond

Symposium Details

Amor Y Odio 140 x 140Title:
Amor Y Odio - The Jews in Spain and Beyond

Date:

Thursday 22 November 2012, from 3.00pm -5.00pm

Venue:

South Theatre, Level 2, Old Arts
The University of Melbourne, Parkville


Details:

Forced to a bitter choice in 1492, some of the Sephardim (the Spanish Jews) left Spain and went into permanent exile, taking with them a language, a literature and a profound and beautiful music. Others remained in Spain and were baptised as Christians, only to find that baptism was no guarantee against suspicion and persecution. This symposium explores themes of love and hatred, death and longing, as they are transmitted in the literature and music of the Sephardim and in the literature and music that were used as a weapon against them.

Symposium Programme

Prof John Griffiths
Monash University, The University of Melbourne, CESR, Tours

Performing Sephardic song across the centuries - the romancero and cultural memory- Old Spanish ballads have survived extensive travels through time and space in the hearts of Sephardic Jews. The songs are part of a cultural memory that has remained with these people for more than 500 years since they were banished from the land they had inhabited and loved for centuries before that. This talk explores some of the ramifications of these observations, especially from the viewpoint of contemporary performance.

Dr François Soyer
The University of Adelaide
The Ghost of the Jew in Early Modern Spain: The Figure of the Jew in Spanish Polemical Literature - The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, but for centuries, the descendants of converted Jews continued to reside in the Iberian Peninsula and were ferociously persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. In the wake of 1492, numerous vernacular books and pamphlets were printed in Spain with the explicit intention of inspiring a fear and hatred of Jews and their descendants amongst the lay population. This paper seeks to present some of the ways in which "the Jew" was deliberately demonized in this form of literature in order to justify the persecution of their converted descendants.

Dr Helen Dell
The University of Melbourne
'The hour in which I am': the presence of death in Sephardic poetry and song.-'There is nothing for me … but
the hour in which I am. It lasts but a moment, and like a cloud, is no more' (Samuel Ha-Nagid, 993-1056). My paper explores the idea that, in some of the literature and music of the Sephardim, death is present as the vast backdrop against which life appears as a brief flash. In these songs and poems, however, the transience and uncertainty of life and the everpresence of death do not dull life, but rather give that brief moment an extraordinary vibrancy, a trmendous poignance and point when one takes the risk of living it.

Download Flyer

CD Launch and Reception

Title:
La vida es un pasahe: a life in Sephardic song

Time:
5.30pm to 7.00pm

Venue:
Arts Hall, Level 1, Old Arts (Building 149)
The University of Melbourne, Parkville

A performance by Helen Dell and Troveresse will follow the symposium, to celebrate the launch of their new CD:
"La vida es un pasahe: a life in Sephardic song".
Please RSVP to helendel@vicnet.net.au