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Robert Alter – The Psalms as Literature

April 13, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Virtual Event


This is the first event of Shakespeare’s Psalms: A community seminar series.

Shakespeare cited the Psalms more than any other book of the Bible. What did the psalms mean to him? This series, co-hosted by Sean Keilen (UCSC) and Julia Lupton (UCI) explores the presence of psalms in Shakespeare’s poetic imagery, psychological insights, and contributions to wisdom. The series consists of seven Wednesday meetings, starting at 12:00 PT, and is free and open to all. The series launches with a special appearance by Prof. Robert Alter, the foremost modern translator of the Hebrew Bible into English and the author of several books on the Bible as literature.


Robert Alter is Professor in the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-four published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses. He has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal, and the self-reflexive tradition in the novel. Books by him have been translated into ten different languages. Among his publications over the past twenty-five years are “Necessary Angels: Tradition and Modernity in Kafka, Benjamin, and Scholem” (1991), “The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel” (1999), “Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture” (2000), “The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary” (2004), “Imagined Cities” (2005), “The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary” (2007), “Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible” (2010), “The Wisdom Books: A Translation with Commentary” (2010), and “Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets.”

Co-sponsored by The Shakespeare Workshop, UC Santa Cruz, and UCI Jewish Studies.


April 13, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm