The Center for Jewish Studies, the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the School of Music present

The Contemporary Piyyut

Global Networks of Middle Eastern and North African Music

November 14-15, 2022

All events held at the President's Room at Coffman Memorial Union, UMN Twin Cities campus,unless otherwise noted on the schedule. All events will be live streamed on Youtube:

"Poetical Circle" from Munich Sephardi Massoretic Bible, Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, National Library of Israel.

Piyyutim, Jewish liturgical songs sung in religious services, ceremonies, and gatherings, make up an archive of thousands of poems and melodies composed and performed by Jewish communities around the world. Over the past twenty years, the Middle Eastern and North African piyyut tradition has become the object of wide interest and unprecedented creative evolution. The piyyut now circulates in new virtual media, and it bridges, sometimes uneasily, diverse communities, cultures, and languages. Performers, participants, and audiences include secular and religious, Mizrahi, Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews, from across the political spectrum.

The Contemporary Piyyut Symposium is dedicated to appearances of piyyutim in contemporary culture. It is an academic event - exploring topics such as recent shifts in the settings in which piyyutim are performed; the ongoing exchange between the piyyut archive and other art forms and medias; the sociocultural and political contexts in which piyyutim function today; and the ways they connect various communities and identities - as well as an experiential and performative one, featuring participatory workshops by contemporary artists whose work engages histories of the piyyut.

See the full schedule of events.

All events are free and open to the public. Link for live-streaming is forthcoming.

Poster for the tenth Piyyut Time festival (Zman Piyyut), Tel Aviv, 2020.

The Global Piyyut Concert

Cedar Cultural Center, Monday, November 14, 7pm.

A concert highlighting the vibrancy of current piyyut practices, led by Yair Harel and Roly Matalon and featuring an international ensemble of master performers

See the Cedar's website for more information and to RSVP.

Thank you to the following cosponsors who have helped bring this conference to fruition:

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Department of History, School of Music, Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, Mediterranean Workshop, English Department, Center for Premodern Studies, Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures, Institute for Global Studies, The Middle East Studies Collaborative, Imagine Grant, and the Center for Jewish Studies