EXC 2060 A3-9 - The Other Within – Iconographic Representations of Other Religious Groups in the Haggadah (1250–1550)
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Few objects are as symbolic of Judaism as books. Often a source of ideological clash and conflict, Jewish books are equally reflective of the cultural entanglements of the diasporic Jewish communities and a driving force behind internal and external change. Particularly striking manifestations of the cultural, intellectual and religious dynamics are the material and artistic aspects of Jewish books. These are shaped by internal aspects of Judaism, which dictate the more obvious point of textual contents, but that also regulate various material aspects of Jewish books (intra-religious dynamics) and are permeated and marked by cross-cultural contacts with other social groups, hosting and peripheric (inter-religious and extra-religious dynamics). In recent times, mainly due to the developments in computer vision, image analysis techniques and data visualisation, art history has found a new space within the digital humanities, as it gradually unfolds new research potentials. The project ‘The Other Within' proposes to address the cultural and artistic entanglements of the European Jewish communities with their adjacent cultures, by reflecting on iconographic depictions of ‘the self' and ‘the other' in the illustrated Haggadah, from its first examples in the thirteenth century up to the mid-twentieth century. By taking advantage of various digital and data visualisation tools, it will be possible to conduct the analysis of large amounts of iconographic representations in the illustrated Haggadah. This approach will provide new insights on how perceptions of ‘the other' and ‘the self' change over time, while simultaneously enabling the study of smaller and more homogenous productions - what can be described as diachronic and synchronic analyses.