The 44th Annual Carolyn L. Drucker ’80 Memorial Lecture

"Embassies of Joy": An Ancient Princess, Her Envoys and Translators. Speaker: Professor Amanda H. Podany

Carolyn L. Drucker ’80 Memorial Lecture

The Drucker Lecture

Since its inception, the Drucker Lecture has gained national and international renown as one of the most prestigious series in Jewish studies. Beginning with the Jewish historian and Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Gerson D. Cohen, over the years the Drucker Lecture has hosted eminent historians, literary critics, writers, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, an eminent midrash expert, a renowned biblical scholar, a famous Israeli journalist and historian, and prominent Israelis active in the political life of their country. The names and topics of the Drucker lecturers listed below stand as a monument to the intellectual enrichment that the series has brought to the Princeton campus and community and to the memory of Carolyn Drucker.

About Carolyn

Carolyn L. Drucker was born on February 7, 1958, in San Mateo, California. The

youngest child of Dr. and Mrs. Edgar F. Drucker, she attended religious school at Temple Sholom, Burlingame, and graduated from San Mateo High School. She entered Princeton with the class of 1979 as an engineer, following her brother Thomas (in mathematics) and her sister Elizabeth (in history). In 1976 she visited Israel for the first time. After three semesters she took a year’s leave of absence, part of which was spent working on a kibbutz. When she returned to Princeton to join the class of 1980, she decided to major in Near Eastern Studies. Her untimely death May 4, 1978, cut short a life marked by gifts and great promise. Upon her death the family and friends looked for a way to pay tribute to her memory. The idea of an annual lecture at Princeton in Jewish studies seemed especially appropriate. The succession of distinguished speakers as Carolyn L. Drucker ’80 Lecturers has contributed to the growth and visibility of Jewish scholarship at the university and to keeping alive the memory of a highly talented student.

The Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Program in Judaic Studies are proud to be the supporters of this series.

Celebrating 44 Years of Lectures

2024 - Amanda H. Podany, "Embassies of Joy": An Ancient Princess, Her Envoys and Translators"

2023 – Aomar Boum, "Saharan Vicy Camps Between Memory and Memorialization: A Graphic History"

2021 – Naomi Seidman, "Reading the Last Will and Testament of the 93 Bais Yaakov Girls: Orthodox Memory in Catastrophic Times" 

2020 – Francesca Trivellato, Spring 1940: Writing Jewish and Mediterranean History in Fascist Italy

2019 – Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, Jews, Herrings & a Hebrew Loan Document from Pre-Expulsion England”

2017 – Carlo Ginzburg, “Medals and Shells: Morphology and History, Once Again”

2016 – Ben Outhwaite, “Beyond the Aleppo Codex: Bible Manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza and the Textus Receptus”

2015 – Shimon Shamir, “Should Israel Regard Itself as Middle Eastern: The Internal Debate”

2014 – David B. Ruderman, “The Revival of the Jewish-Christian Debate in Nineteenth Century Europe: The Evangelical Missionary Alexander McCaul and His Jewish Interlocutors”

2013 – Hasia R. Diner, “Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migration and the Peddlers Who Made It Possible”

2012 – Derek Penslar, “Jews into Israelis: Zionism as a Revolutionary Project”

2011 – Natalie Zemon Davis, “Jerusalem Regained: The Learned Converso Nassy and

Jewish Colonization in the Seventeenth Century”

2010 – Allegra Goodman, “Practicing Fiction”

2009 – Susannah Heschel, “The Jewish Fascination with Islam” and Ismar Schorch

2008 – Amitav Ghosh, “The Making of In an Antique Land: India, Egypt, and the Cairo Geniza”

2007 – Sasson Somekh, “Baghdad, Yesterday: A Memoir of a Secular Arab-Jew”

2006 – Mary Douglas, “Numbering the People of Israel: Biblical and Secular Agendas”

2005 – Walter Laqueur, “Jerusalem 1938 & After”

2004 – Michael Chabon, “Golems and Charlotte Russes”

2003 – Bernard Lewis, “The Judaeo-Islamic Tradition”

2002 – Tom Segev, “Post-Zionism and the Americanization of Israel”

2001 – Deborah Lipstadt, “Denying the Holocaust: Perspectives from a British Courtroom”

2000 – Nathan Glazer, “The Jewish Urban Experience: An Age That is Past”

1999 – Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska, “Is there a Place for Jewish Culture in Modern Contemporary Poland?”

1998 – Saul Friedlander, “Writing the History of the Shoah: Some Major Dilemmas”

1997 – Yaron Ezrahi, “Power and Conscience in Modern Israel”

1996 – Itamar Rabinovich, “The Arab-Israel Conflict: Historical Perspective and Contemporary Experience”

1995 – Leon Weiseltier, “A Passion for Waiting: The Jews, The Messiah, and the Future”

1994 – Michael Walzer, “Biblical Wisdom: The Value and Limits of Prudence in Politics”

1993 – Shulamit Aloni, “Israel in the Changing World After 45 Years of Trial and Error” (cancelled)

1992 – Arthur Hertzberg, “American Jews in the Twenty-first Century: A Declining Elite?”

1991 – A.B. Yehoshua, “Jews and Judaism in the Culture of Renaissance and Baroque Italy”

1990 – Ruth Wisse, “Little Love in Big Manhattan: Two Yiddish Poets”

1989 – Shlomo Avineri “Jews in the Year 2000: Israel and the Diaspora”

1988 – Amos Oz, “The Eyes of the Lord: Hebrew Literature, Letter and Spirit”

1987 – Moshe Greenberg, “How Jews have Interpreted the Bible Through the Ages”

1986 – Shmuel Eisenstadt, “The Jewish Political Tradition and Politics in the State of Israel”

1985 – Robert Alter, “The Flaubertian Agnon”

1984 – Judah Goldin, “The Freedom and Restraint of Haggadah”

1983 – Dan Miron, “Modern Hebrew Literature: Theoretical Anticipations and the Historical Realities”

1982 – Yosef Hayim, “Spinoza on the Survival of the Jews”  Yerushalmi

1981 – Salo W. Baron, “Is America Prepared for Jewish Minority Rights?”

1980 – Arnold Band, “The Structure of the Classic Hasidic Tale”

1979 – Gerson D. Cohen, “The Biblical Debate on the Meaning of History”