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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies

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Center for Judaic Studies


'Thirdspacing' – A Graduate Student and Faculty Experiment in Transdisciplinarity
(Third Thursdays at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site)

Edward Soja's notion of thirdspace offers a place where the differences of disciplinary boundaries no longer protect and compartmentalize, but rather, provide the very conditions of possibility for meaningful dialogue. Thirdspace articulates a transdisciplinary approach to inquiry that not only crosses disciplinary boundaries, but encourages the rich and complex interdependency of fields of study that often operate as islands. This transdisciplinary thirdspace fits well with the desire of the Joint Doctoral Program in Religious Studies (JDP) to encourage research and conversation that challenge traditional disciplinary boundaries. I can think of no space better suited to explore the complex intermingling of spatiality, historicality and sociality of thirdspace than the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site (HMSAS) at DU. Together, the vision of the HMSAS and the pedagogical values of the JDP and the Center for Judaic Studies provide a unique collaborative opportunity to practice a kind of thirdspace.

Beginning in April of 2014, the Center for Judaic Studies and the JDP will co-sponsor a year long experiment in thirdspacing called Third Thursdays. Faculty and students from the JDP and other graduate programs across campus will gather at 4 p.m. every third Thursday of the month at the HMSAS to practice the transdisciplinary encounter imagined by Soja's thirdspace. Each month, light refreshments will be provided and we will suggest a simple theme or idea to stimulate open conversation and engagement. For example, we might explore the relationship between 'real' and 'imaginary' in the work people are currently doing or we could discuss the role of media and mediation in theoretical methodologies. Yet, these suggested topics will just be a catalyst for interaction and encounter that will challenge us to ask new questions and to continue talking to one another even beyond our academic silos. We hope you will join us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael Hemenway at [email protected].

The Third Thursday Schedule is as follows:


April 17, 2014
May 15, 2014
June 19, 2014
September 18, 2014

(image painted by April Favara)

Visit our Current Initiatives page to learn about other exciting Initiatives at CJS.