What do the illustrations in mediaeval Jewish manuscripts tell us about the life of Jewish communities at the time? What interaction existed between Jewish pictorial and book culture and that of Christian and Islamic cultures? Jewish scholar Katrin Kogman-Appel is widely regarded as a world authority on the Jewish Art of the Middle Ages. She understands art history in terms of cultural history and always relates both to aspects of social and religious history. A typical example of Kogman-Appel’s approach is her work on the so-called Leipzig Mahzor, a collection of prayers for Jewish holidays and one of the most famous examples of Hebrew illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages. The prayer book was produced in southwestern Germany around 1310 and is known to have been kept at Worms in the 16th century. Kogman-Appel directs her attention to the role of the Mahzor and the rites of late-mediaeval Jewish community life depicted; she also focusses on social cohesion within the Jewish community in Worms, which was then a centre of Judaism in Germany. By embracing the broader cultural context, Kogman-Appel has an impact beyond the confines of Jewish Studies on Mediaeval Studies in general. She is expected to drive interdisciplinary research in the Humanities at the University of Münster. In particular, the Alexander von Humboldt Professor will seek to establish Jewish Studies to complement existing research on Christianity and Islam at Münster.
Nominating University: University of Münster
Prof. Dr. Katrin Kogman-Appel
born in Austria in 1958, is a Full Professor, Vice-Dean and holder of the Evelyn Metz Memorial Research Chair at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel. After completing her studies and PhD in Vienna, Katrin Kogman-Appel originally moved to Israel in the 1980s, working at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After interludes at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and the Universidad Hebraica, Mexico, she returned in 1996, initially as a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University. Katrin Kogman-Appel has also been a visiting researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University, USA. She sits on the board of various journals, including Ars Judaica, und is a member of the European Association of Jewish Studies and the Medieval Academy of America. In November 2015 she took up her position as a Humboldt Professor at the University of Münster.