Prof. Adam Rovner, Associate Professor of English & Jewish Literature; Director, Center for Judaic Studies; University of Denver
"The Jew Who Would Be King: The Adventures of Nathaniel Isaacs in West Africa"
Monday, November 15, 2021 | 7:00PM (AZ Time)
Zoom Registration Link: https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AvA7tmaMR26LZECvgk9qPQ
In his talk, Adam Rovner (Associate Professor of English & Jewish Literature and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies, University of Denver) details the travels and adventures of 19th century Anglo-Jewish merchant and adventurer Nathaniel Isaacs. His presentation offers a narrative history of Isaacs’ remarkable exploits: the real-life odyssey of a would-be monarch, of an explorer and author, a lover and fighter, and a nineteenth century dreamer who played the role of Joseph in Zululand and of Pharaoh in West Africa. His is a story of blood and lust for power, of drama on the high seas and shipwreck, bravery and villainy, freedom and slavery, and survival against all odds.
Prof. Adam Rovner, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver, where he has taught since 2008. He served as a Lady Davis Fellow in the Department of English at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2015-2016. He has published academic work in leading journals and in scholarly volumes, including a recent article on Jewish modernisms in the journal Partial Answers, and an essay on Zionist plans to colonize East Africa in the edited volume What Ifs of Jewish History (Cambridge UP). His general interest articles have appeared in numerous outlets, including The Forward, History Today (UK), Jewish Renaissance (UK), American History, World Literature Today, and Words Without Borders. His acclaimed book, In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel, was published by NYU Press in December 2014. Rovner’s short documentary about Territorialism, "No Land Without Heaven: Isaac Nachman Steinberg and the Freeland League," has been screened in Holon, Manhattan, and Paris. Adam is also quite possibly the only person ever to have had a peer-reviewed article win an award for science fiction. His current project focuses on 19th-century Anglo-Jewish merchant-adventurer Nathaniel Isaacs, who wrote the first eye-witness accounts of the Zulu people and their famed king, Shaka.