The Executive Board of the Western Jewish Studies Association is appalled and deeply saddened by the atrocities committed in Israel on Saturday, October 7, 2023, the last day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. While we may hold various political views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we are united in our view that the terrorist acts committed by Hamas were abhorrent crimes against human life that must be condemned, unequivocally, as such. The deliberate targeting of civilians is indefensible. We are also troubled by the loss of innocent lives in Gaza. As a diverse group of scholars, we seek to educate our students on the multiplicity of Jewish experiences across time and region and promote open intellectual exchange, debate, and disagreement. We reaffirm ourselves to this commitment and stand with Israelis and all people seeking peace in this region and beyond.

(Based on the Statement issued by the faculty of the Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies at the University of Oklahoma).  

Annual WJSA Conference 

The WJSA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 to organize a Jewish Studies conference every Spring at alternating sites in the western United States and Canada. The conference serves as a forum for Jewish Studies scholars in this region to present their research, discuss pedagogical issues, network with colleagues in their disciplines, and share information about the funding and organization of Jewish Studies programs.

Title: Western Jewish Studies Association 26th Annual Conference
Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Date(s) of Event: May 5-6, 2024
Deadline for Submission: January 6, 2024

Call for paper and panel proposals in all areas of Jewish Studies regardless of discipline, geographical focus, or period.  The WJSA always devotes some panels to Jews in the American West, pedagogical aspects in Jewish Studies, and contemporary Jewish issues.  Panels devoted to major anniversaries of events in Jewish history or birthdays and Yahrzeits of important Jewish individuals in 2024 are welcome such as:

30th Anniversary of the AMIA Bombing                                                                                                 
75th Anniversary of Israel Being Admitted to the United Nations                                                                          100th Yahrzeit of the Death of Franz Kafka                                                                                   
100th Anniversary of Passage of Restrictive Immigration Act (Johnson-Reed Act)                             
150th Yahrzeit of Abraham Geiger                                                                                                              
175th Anniversary of Birth of Emma Lazarus 

Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars of Jewish Studies are invited to submit proposals for papers, panels, and roundtable discussion. Paper proposals should be no longer than one double-spaced typed page and should be submitted with a short CV that contains contact information. Organizers of panels and roundtable discussions should submit a cover sheet with the title of the session, the titles and abstracts for each paper and bios and contact information of the participants. Individuals wishing to chair a session should indicate their area of expertise and submit a short CV.  

A few partial travel stipends are available for graduate students and overseas scholars presenting at the conference.

The conference will be primarily in-person, though there will be one entirely virtual panel in each morning time slot reserved for overseas presenters. 

The WJSA bestows the Baron Award for the best graduate student paper presented at the conference.  The winner receives $200.   

Although there is no WSJA membership requirement for participation in the conference, a higher registration fee is charged for non-members.  Deadline for submission of proposals is January 6, 2024