About

Jonathan Schmidt-Swartz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University focusing on Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. His primary research interests and dissertation focus broadly on the intersection of ancient scribal culture, critical theory, and kingship. More specifically, his dissertation aims to trace the intellectual history and historiography of kingship in more concrete terms, namely, by determining how post-monarchic scribes reinterpreted sources they inherited; how the juxtapositions of monarchic sources to their post-monarchic framings entails a two-way reinterpretation between older and newer texts. Unlike previous studies on the history of kingship in Israel-Judah, his work seeks to unpack the differing notions of kingship — the power dynamics between the king, Yahweh, and the people — through the lens of specific scribal practices as his guiding method. His objective is to understand, recognize, and begin to pull apart the layered conceptions of kingship on display in the Bible’s primary narrative about the kingdoms and recognize at once the conscious diachronic juxtaposition of sources by scribes and their synchronic multivalent unity.

Dissertation: Recasting Kingship: Power, Disrupted History, and Scribal Adaptation

Interests: Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East, Critical Theory, Scribal Culture, Religious Studies/History of Religions, History/Historiography, Jewish Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Public Humanities

Education

2021 (expected)
Ph.D., New York University, New York, NY
Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Concentration: Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Dissertation: “Recasting Kingship: Power, Disrupted History, and Scribal Adaptation”
Committee: Daniel E. Fleming (chair); Mark S. Smith

2019
M.Phil., New York University, New York, NY
Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies

2015
A.B. summa cum laude, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Majors: Comparative Literature and Religious Studies
Minors: Near Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies
Advisor: Lauren A. S. Monroe

2013–2014
Religious Studies Tripos Part IIB, The University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Faculty of Divinity
Focus: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Jewish Studies (Junior Year Abroad)
Supervisors: Nathan MacDonald, Daniel Weiss, Philip Jenson

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“Deconstructing ‘Identity’ and Locating the ‘Other’: Josephus’ Portrayal of the War with the Tribe of Benjamin (Ant. 5.136–174; Judges 19–21),” Association for Jewish Studies 52nd Annual Conference, Jews and Others in the Greco-Roman World Session, Virtual: December 16, 2020.

“The Joseph Narrative, Inheritance Disputes, and Property Law.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Biblical Law Section, Virtual: December 1, 2020.

“Theorizing Kingship Through ‘Service’: Reciprocity, Authority, and Historiography.” ASOR Annual
Meeting, State and Territory in the Ancient Near East: Mapping Relationships and Challenging Paradigms, Virtual: November 21, 2020.

“Movement, Social Location, and Identity Distinction: Benjaminite Migration in the Hebrew Bible.” The Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Conference, Movement, Mobility, and the Journey: Ancient Actions and Perspectives: February 29, 2020.

“Locating a Scribal Ideology of Kingship in Time and Space: Royal Land Acquisition in 1 Kings 21
and Ezekiel 46.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Historiography and the Hebrew Bible Section, San Diego: November 25, 2019.

“Recasting Kingship and Scribal Adaptation in 1 Samuel 8.” Emerging Voices in Samuel Studies
Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison: April 25–27, 2019.

“Negotiating the Boundaries of ‘Identity’: Benjamin at the Yahweh Festival of Shiloh.”
Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Historiography and the Hebrew Bible Section, Denver: November 19, 2018.

“Reexamining the Political-Legal Ideology of mišpaṭ hammelek (1 Samuel 8:11–18).” Annual
Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Historiography and the Hebrew Bible Section, Boston: November 21, 2017.

“Transition to Monarchy and Exchange of Power: Reexamining 1 Samuel 8.” Guest Lecture,
Graduate Biblical Seminar on Samuel, Cornell University: March 16, 2016.

Memberships

Modern Language Association

Society of Biblical Literature

Association for Jewish Studies

ASOR

Jonathan Schmidt-Swartz

Profile picture of Jonathan Schmidt-Swartz

@jschmidtswartz

Active 11 months, 3 weeks ago