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IAS Thursdays: Women in Religious Con/texts

Women in Religious Texts and Contexts: New Voices in the Biographical Novel
Anita Diamant, Rebecca Kanner, and Sherry Jones, panelists


Available for download as audio or video.

Question and Answer Session

Available for download as audio or video.

Who were the women of sacred stories and histories, known as wives and daughters, through figures such as Muhammad, Noah or Jacob?  Three authors discuss fiction, religious texts and the biographical novel with UM Morris professor Michael Lackey.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, the Religious Studies Program, and the Department of English.

Anita Daimant

Anita Diamant

Diamant was first a freelance journalist, covering a wide variety of topics, from profiles of prominent people and stories about medical ethics, to first-person essays ranging from politics to popular culture. She also wrote about Jewish practice and the Jewish community combining contemporary sensibility with respect for tradition. The Red Tent, inspired by a few lines from Genesis, was her first work of fiction. She also wrote Good Harbor,The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent and six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life.
rebeccakanner1 author photo

Rebecca Kanner

Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel, Sinners and the Sea, is the story of Noah’s Ark told by his wife. “I didn’t mean to write a novel about Noah’s wife.  But just a few pages into what I thought would be a short story I realized I didn’t want to stop.  A 500 year old man that everyone thinks is crazy, a host of vulgar sinners, a world on the verge of destruction…. For me, this material was irresistible.” Kanner won an Associated Writing Programs Award and a Loft mentorship Award. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011.
sherry-jones-headshot

Sherry Jones

Sherry Jones wrote The Jewel of Medina and The Sword of MedinaFour Sisters, All Queens, and White Heart. A professional journalist since 1979, she has won numerous awards and been published in magazines including Newsweek, CMJ, Southwest Art, and Rider. She is a correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs, an international news agency in the Washington, D.C. area.
09SLackey

Michael Lackey

Michael Lackey is the author of African American Atheists and Political Liberation (2007) and The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich (2012). He has also edited The Haverford Discussions: A Black Integrationist Manifesto for Racial Justice (2013)Lackey is editing a collection of interviews for the forthcoming text, Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists, where authors identify the key intellectual developments that led to the rise of the contemporary biographical novel, discuss the kind of historical ‘truth’ this novel communicates, indicate why this narrative form is superior to the traditional historical novel, and reflect on the ideas and characters central to their individual works.  These interviews provide a precise way of understanding the complicated relationship and pregnant tensions between contextualized thinking and historical representation, interdisciplinary studies and ‘truth’ production, and fictional reality and factual constructions.

This discussion took place Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm in 125 Nolte.

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One Comment

  1. Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat | ErikaDreifus.comOctober 3, 2013 at 11:02 pmReply

    […] hoping to spend part of this weekend watching a recording of “Women in Religious Texts and Contexts: New Voices in the Biographical Novel,” featuring Anita Diamant, Rebecca Kanner, and Sherry […]

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