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Prof. Francesco Spagnolo spagnoloacht@berkeley.edu Office: 2121 Allston Way Hours: TUE 12:30­2 PM & by appt.

THEATER 121­002 UC Berkeley, Fall 2016 The Magnes, 2121 Allston Way TUE & THU 11­12:30

Culture & Performance

Mapping Diasporas

Jewish Culture, Museums, & Digital Humanities

Diasporas Jewish Culture, Museums, & Digital Humanities How do we “map” cultures in motion? Describing the

How do we “map” cultures in motion?

Describing the interaction of places, times, languages, identities, cultural formats, dominant and marginal narratives that characterize cultures in diaspora requires a multidimensionality that traditional maps no longer meet.

In today’s world, we “map” diasporas through digital narratives, and often perform cultureas archivists and curators.

In this course, students will work with the cultural objects held in The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, including art, material culture, books, manuscripts, digital assets and data, learning to conduct collaborative research and documentation, to create maps and narratives, and to curate, perform and publish their findings in museum galleriesand online.

Each week in the semester combines critical approaches and orienting texts with the exploration of a variety of tools and cultural practices.


WEEK 1 – Performing the Museum, Displacing Culture Dates: 8.25.2016

Resources (explored and discussed in class):

Jake Silverstein,

The Displaced,The New York Times, 11.15.2015 (Photographic

and Virtual Reality Coverage of Syrian Refugee Crisis)

AaronGlanz­Leyeles (1889­1966), Dergot fun yisroel (“The God of Israel,” 1947)

Francesco Spagnolo, mima’amaqim (exhibition notes, Contemporary Jewish Museum, 2015): 12­14 (and exhibition website)

In­Class Activity:

Visit The Magnes: guided tours of gallery, storage and processing areas

Recommended background resources (to start thinking about museums):

Charles R. Garoian, “Performing the Museum,” in Studies in Art Education 42/3 (Spring 2001): 234­248

Barbara Kirshenblatt­Gimblett, The Museum: a Refuge for Utopian Thought (2004)


WEEK 2 – Mapping the Unknown: The Library of Babel Dates: 8.30.2016 and 9.1.2016


Jorge LuisBorges, “The Library of Babel” (1941), in Ficciones/Fictions (1944)

​ ​ ❏ Umberto Eco, ​The Name of the Rose (1980) [search PDF for the
❏ Umberto Eco, ​The Name of the Rose (1980) [search PDF for the words, “library” and
❏ The Name of the Rose (dir. Jean­Jacques Annaud, Italy­West Germany­France, 1986,
130’) ​imdb link
❏ Walter Benjamin, “On Mimetic Faculty,” in ​Reflections (1933) [focus on p. 335]
In­Class Activities (9.1.2016):
Organize a bookshelf (of likely unreadable books)
❏ Object Handling Workshop 1, with Julie Franklin, Registrar, The Magnes
WEEK 3 – Mapping the Similar: Theme and Variations
Dates: 9.6.2016 and 9.8.2016
❏ J.S. Bach, ​Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1741): scor​ e & performance on YouTube
❏ Peter Williams, ​Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Cambridge UP 2001: “Introduction”
(pp. 1­13) and “Overall shape” (p. 35­39, and 45­50)
❏ Uri Caine, ​The Goldberg Variations (2000): per​ formance on YouTube​ and CD notes
❏ Josh Kun, ​Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, UC Press 2005: “Introduction” (pp.
1–28) ​Electronic Resource link​ (UCB access only)

Raymond Queneau, Exercises in Style (1947): 19­26

In­Class Activity (9.8.2016):

“Mind mapping” software and platforms: research, evaluate, test

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WEEK 4 – Mapping (the Objects of) Memory Dates: 9.13.2016 and 9.15.2016


Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated (2002): read pp. 1­7; 59­62; 146­160; and also take a look at the “list” on pp. 197­213

Everything is Illuminated (dir. Liev Schreiber, USA 2005) imdb link

Joshua Foer, Moonwalking with Einstein, 2011: Ch. 1, “The Smartest Man is Hard to Find”; Ch. 2, “The Man Who Remembered Too Much”; Ch. 5, “The Memory Palace”

Ziv Schneider and Laura Chen, RecoVR Mosul(2015)

In­Class Activity (9.15.2016):

Memory, Objects, and Places: UC Berkeley History & Discoveriesand Campus map

WEEK 5 – Towards a Map (or a History?) of Emotions Dates 9.20.2016 and 9.22.2016


Carlo Ginzburg, “Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm,” in Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method (1986): 96–125

Aby Warburg, Mnemosyne Atlas (1927): wa

In­ClassMidterm Examination(9.22.2016):

Create a collaborative “atlas” with linoit.com+ Plan Project Abstracts

WEEK 6 – From Cartography to the Web, From Maps to Narratives Dates: 9.27.2016 and 9.29.2016


T. Presner, D. Shepard, Y. Kawano, Hypercities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities (2014): 12­65 [Lexicon: 12­21; The Humanities in the Digital Humanities: 22­65] and website companion: hypercities.com

Map History/History of Cartography: maphistory.info

Francesco Spagnolo and The Magnes, Jewish Digital Narratives project

In­Class Activity (9.29.2016):

Explore and compare HistoryPin,Findery, and other mapping/publication tools


WEEK 7 – Working with Cultural Objects Dates: (10.4.2016 class cancelled: Rosh Hashanah) and 10.6.2016


Igor Kopytoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things,” in The Social Life of Things:

Commodities in Cultural Perspective (1986): 64–90

Bill Brown, “Thing Theory,” Critical Inquiry 28/1 (Autumn, 2001): 1­22

In­Class Activity (10.6.2016):

Object Handling Workshop 2, with Julie Franklin, Registrar, The Magnes

Project Abstracts Due! (In class, by Thursday, 10.6.2016)

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WEEK 8 – Making History? Collecting, Archiving, Cataloging Dates: 10.11.2016 and 10.13.2016


Walter Benjamin, “Unpacking my Library. A Talk About Book Collecting,” in

​ ​ ​ Illuminations, Schocken, New York 2007: 59­67 ❏ Jacques Derrida, “Archive Fever. A
Illuminations, Schocken, New York 2007: 59­67
❏ Jacques Derrida, “Archive Fever. A Freudian Impression,” ​Diacritics 25/2 (Summer
1995): 9­11; 61­63
❏ Visual Resources Association. C​ CO Commons: Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide
to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images. ​American Library Association Editions
2006: 3­40; 48­50 ​http://cco.vrafoundation.org

Francesco Spagnolo, “Cultural Content and Digital Form, or The Other Way Around? Jewish Collections, Research and the Digital Renaissance,” in Capriotti and Feliciati eds. Judaica Europeana, Università di Macerata 2011: 249­274

In­Class Activity (10.11.2016 & 10.13.2016):

Work with archival materials from The Magnes & Plan upcoming field trips

WEEK 9 ­ Rare Books & Manuscripts | Field Trip No. 1 Dates: 10.18.2016 and 10.20.2016

Field Trip (October 18, 2016):

Visit to a Berkeley synagogue for the Festival of Sukkot (observing diasporic

behavior in context) E. Kutch, L. Jacobs, A. Kanof, "Sukkot," Encyclopaedia Judaica. Berenbaum and Skolnik eds. 2nd ed. Vol. 19. Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007: 299­302 (Gale Virtual Reference Library link, UCB access only) Web. 12 Aug. 2016.


Gershon Zilberberg and Jennifer Breger, "Printing, Hebrew," Encyclopaedia Judaica. Berenbaum and Skolnik eds. 2nd ed. Vol. 16. Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007: 529­540 (Gale Virtual Reference Library link, UCB access only) Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place: footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu

In­Class Activity (10.20.2016):

Work with rare books and manuscripts from The Magnes

WEEK 10 – Art & Material Culture | Field Trip No. 2 Dates: 10.25.2016 and 10.27.2016

Field Trip (October 25, 2016):

Visit to a Berkeley synagogue for the Festival of Simchat Torah (observing diasporic behavior in context)

A. Rothkoff, Sh. Sabar, "Simat Torah," Encyclopaedia Judaica. Berenbaum and Skolnik eds. 2nd ed. Vol. 18. Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007: 604­606 (Gale Virtual Reference Library link, UCB access only)


Georg Simmel, “The Handle,” The Hudson Review 11/3 (Autumn 1958): 371­378 Bill Brown, Thing Theory,” Critical Inquiry 28/1 (Autumn 2001): 1­22

In­Class Activity (10.27.2016):

Work with art and materials culture from The Magnes

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WEEK 11 – Group Workshops: Dreaming (Ideas & Resources) Dates: 11.1.2016 and 11.3.2016

WEEK 12 – Group Workshops: Planning (Narrative & Tools) Dates: 11.8.2016 and 11.10.2016

Resources (for Weeks 11 & 12):

Alla Efimova and Francesco Spagnolo, The Jewish World. 100 Treasures of Art & Culture. The Magnes Collection, New York, Rizzoli­Skirà 2014

The Jewish World web companion 1:


The Jewish World web companion 2:


WEEK 13: Guest Lecture & Self­Directed Work Dates: 11.15.2016 ­ 11.17.2016

Guest lecture (11.15.2016):

Zachary Bleemer, PhD Candidate, Economics, Mapping Migration and University Attendance in California

Resources: TBA

Self­directed, In­Class Activity (11.17.2016):

Prepare for Class Presentations

WEEK 14 – Class Presentations Date: 11.22.2016 (Note: November 24 is Thanksgiving)

WEEK 15 – Class Presentations & Conclusions Dates: 11.29.2016 and 12.1.2016

Guest Lecture (11.29.2016):

Walter Zev Feldman: Mapping East European Jewish Music & Dance



W. Z. Feldman,"Bulgărească/Bulgarish/Bulgar: The Transformation of a Klezmer Dance Genre," Ethnomusicology 38.1 (1994): 1­35

Class Presentations & Conclusions (12.1.2016)

Recommended resources (to stop thinking about museums…):

Charles R. Garoian, “Performing the Museum,” in Studies in Art Education 42/3 (Spring 2001): 234­248 Barbara Kirshenblatt­Gimblett, The Museum: a Refuge for Utopian Thought (2004)

A Note on Course Assignments and Course Blog

All assignments for this course are available via the UC Berkeley Library portal, bCourses, or links provided in class. Some resources are restricted to UC Berkeley accounts (setup guide:

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General Requirements

Regularly attend class meetings and be on time. (Unexcused absences will affect your grade).

Be prepared ahead of time for all lectures and activities: be thoroughly familiar with all assigned resource materials, ready to discuss them, and to ask questions.

Participate in all class meetings actively and critically (physical presence does not qualify as class participation).

Complete all assignments on time. Late work will not be accepted unless you have received a written confirmation by the instructor prior to the assignment deadline

Grades will be based on the following:


Attendance and participation(lectures, workshops, required activities) 30%


Four (unannounced) Response Exercises basedon the week’s assignments 20%


Midterm Examination (on Thursday, September 22, 2016)10%


Projects(due on Tuesday, November 22, 2016)30%


Final (held on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 8­11 am)10%

What are “Projects”?

Projects involve researching a topic centering on the theme of “culture in motion”, and consist of class presentations and/or performanceswhich must involve a narrative (or “curated”) use ofcultural objects(found in UC Berkeley campus collections, other collections, or anywhere students wish to conduct their research) centered upon or complemented by the creation of related, well­structured,digital documentationbased on maps, datasets, images, sounds, videos, mashups, and more.

All projects will involve a certain degree of writing, but also draw on other skills. The starting points of these assignments are found more often than not in your Syllabus: read it thoroughly! Choose a topic/project that speaks to you, in terms of content as well as the form in which you choose to deliver your work. Students are free to find different learning paths: consulting with the instructor (during office hours) will help you to focus on your own interests, expand your research tools, and learn how to most effectively manage the resources offered by the course, along with others available through the University Library.

Projects can be prepared by individual students or by small groups (max 3 students). In order to accomplish this, students will need to: select a topic, find fellow students with whom you want to work, and consult with the instructor so that you can submit a proposal (a title and a few written lines, or Abstract, due byThursday, 10.6.2016), and, if you (really) wish, a prompt. All projects must be pre­approved, in writing, by the instructor.

A Note on R&R Week

No additional materials will be assigned during “dead week,” but class may meet if preparations for the Final presentation require us to do so.

Last But Definitely Not Least

The use of electronic devices in this class is not only encouraged, but required for most in­class activities. Speak with your instructor if you need assistance in obtaining one.

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