Dror Burstein, an award-winning Israeli novelist, will teach a course on Genesis in art and literature and offer two public lectures at the College of the Holy Cross this fall. His time in Worcester is made possible primarily through the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists Program, and he is one of 10 visiting artists who will be in residencies throughout the country as part of the program. Burstein will also be teaching a class at Clark University, sponsored by the Chaifetz Fund in Clark’s program for Jewish studies.
While on campus at Holy Cross, Burstein will serve as the International Visiting Kraft-Hiatt Fellow and will give two different talks through the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. His first lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, titled “Pictures of Meat,” will highlight paintings in which the death of the animals depicted may be seen as an outrage as well as paintings in which the possibility of co-existence and even harmony between man and animal is imaginable; this lecture will include works from the Worcester Art Museum. The second, co-sponsored by the College’s creative writing program and the Worcester Jewish Community Center, “Why it is (almost) impossible to write a novel in Israel these days” will include a reading from his newly published book, “Netanya” (Hebrew Literature Series, 2013), a meditation on human history explored through the thoughts of its narrator. It will take place Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m.as a part of the Working Writers Series. Both talks will be held in Rehm Library, Smith Hall, and are free and open to the public.
“Having Dror in Worcester for the fall semester will provide a rich breadth of experiences for the Holy Cross academic community, as well as the greater Worcester community,” said Thomas Landy, director of the McFarland Center. “His studies in the visual arts as well as his success as an author in Israel will undoubtedly create the foundation for many academic and cultural conversations.”
Burstein was born in Netanya, Israel, and lives in Tel Aviv. He started his career as a lawyer and left the legal field to study literature. He received his Ph.D. in Hebrew literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2001 and now teaches there and at Tel Aviv University. He has edited programs for Israel Radio’s music station and since 2011 has been the editor of the poetry journal Helikon. He also writes literary and art reviews for the Hebrew press. Burstein has been awarded the Jerusalem Prize for Literature (1997), the Ministry of Science and Culture Prize for Poetry (2002), and his novel “Avner Brenner” (Babel, 2003) was recognized with the Bernstein Prize (2005) and the Prime Minister’s Prize (2006).
About the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program
One of the largest organized residency programs of Israeli artists ever to launch in the U.S., the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program began in fall 2008 and offers unprecedented opportunities for Americans to experience Israeli culture. The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation supports the Schusterman Visiting Artists Program to provide Israeli artists from various disciplines with time spent in North America. These residencies last for two to four months and take place at some of the nation’s most esteemed universities, museums, and other cultural organizations. The program has a special focus on fostering high levels of interaction between the artists and the local communities where they are based.
About the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding
Funded by the College of the Holy Cross and by the Kraft-Hiatt family, the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding sponsors a number of opportunities that continue to have profound impact on individual student and faculty participants and the campus community at large. The initiatives include the International Visiting Kraft-Hiatt Fellow; summer opportunities for students; lectures and presentations; and faculty participation in seminars at Yad Vashem. The Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Holy Cross is a member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, an association of centers and institutes in the United States and Canada devoted to enhancing mutual understanding between Jews and Christians.