Anna Schultz, "Domesticating Translation: How a Missionary Psalter Became an Indian Jewish Songbook"

When and Where

Monday, March 28, 2022 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Anna Schultz (University of Chicago)


This lecture is co-presented by the Faculty of Music


"Domesticating Translation: How a Missionary Psalter Became an Indian Jewish Songbook"

Anna Schultz (University of Chicago)

Metrical Psalms, known in Marathi as Davidachi Gite (Songs of David), form the core of the Bene Israel song repertoire, but their importance in Indian Judaism occludes a colonial missionary past. Davidachi Gite are drawn from a nineteenth-century psalter of the same name, which was composed and first published in 1836-39 by a British missionary. This talk charts how Davidachi Gite became a Jewish songbook, and theorizes a feminist, anti-colonial praxis of “domesticating translation,” whereby Christian texts have been re-oralized and re-textualized by Bene Israel women to bolster their Jewish knowledge, generate new forms of sociality, and articulate changing Bene Israel identities.

Anna Schultz is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Chicago, where she is also an associate member of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and a member of the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies. The core issue animating her research in India and beyond is music’s power to activate profound religious experiences that in turn shape other identities. Her first book, Singing a Hindu Nation: Marathi Devotional Performance and Nationalism, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013, and her second book, Songs of Translation: Bene Israel Gender and Textual Orality, is also under contract with OUP.


This lecture will be delivered on Zoom. To attend, please click THIS LINK at 4pm on Monday, March 28th, 2022. 


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