Dr. Iris Idelson-Shein from BGU's Department of Jewish History has been awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), the European Union's most prestigious research award.
€ 1.5 million grant is for five years and was awarded for her research
that deals with translations of non-Jewish texts into Jewish languages
(Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and Judeo-Italian) in early modern Europe.
Around seven PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers from different
disciplines and with different linguistic capabilities will take part
in the project, which attempts to map translations of non-Jewish texts
into Jewish languages, which developed during the early modern period.
modern authors, both Jewish and non-Jewish understood translation very
differently from the way we understand it today," says Dr.
Idelson-Shein. "For these authors, translation was creative work and
the original compositions constituted an invitation to create a new and
often radically different work."
The project will offer the first
comprehensive study of these early modern Jewish translations, exposing a
previously unexplored terrain of intercultural encounters which took
place before the modern age—between East and West, tradition and
innovation, Christians and Jews.
Dr. Idelson-Shein completed her
PhD at the School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her
dissertation focused on the ways in which Jewish authors dealt with the
changes that took place in the understandings of identity and difference
throughout the eighteenth century. The University of Pennsylvania
published the dissertation as a book in 2014 titled: Difference of a Different Kind: Jewish Constructions of Race During the Long Eighteenth Century.
After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany where she was a
research fellow at the Historisches Seminar at Ludwig-Maximilians
University in Munich and the Martin Buber Chair in Jewish Thought at
Goethe University in Frankfurt.
The ERC grant is awarded under the auspices of the EU'S Horizon 2020 program,
which is dedicated to “stimulating scientific excellence by supporting
and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, scholars and
engineers to be adventurous and take risks in their research."