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The queenship of the first European Renaissance queen regnant never ceases to fascinate. Was she a saint or a bigoted zealot? A pious wife or the one wearing the pants? Was she ultimately responsible for genocide? A case has been made to canonize her. Does she deserve to be called Saint Isabel? As different groups from fascists to feminists continue to fight over Isabel as cultural capital, we ask which (if any) of these recyclings are legitimate or appropriate. Or has this figure taken on a life of her own?

Contributors to this volume: Roger Boase, David A. Boruchoff, John Edwards, Emily Francomano, Edward Friedman, Cristina Guardiola-Griffiths, Michelle Hamilton, Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Hilaire Kallendorf, William D. Phillips, Jr., Nuria Silleras-Fernandez, Caroline Travalia, and Jessica Weiss.
Portrayals of Judith, Esther and the Shulamite in Early Twentieth-Century Jewish Art
Although recently more studies have been devoted to the representations of Biblical heroines in modern European art, less is known about the contribution to the portrayals of Biblical women by modern Jewish artists. This monograph explores why and how heroines of the Scripture: Judith, Esther and the Shulamite received a particular meaning for acculturated Jewish artists originating from the Polish lands in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century. It convincingly proves that artworks by Maurycy Gottlieb, Wilhem Wachtel, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Maurycy Minkowski, Samuel Hirszenberg and Boris Schatz significantly differed from renderings of contemporary non-Jewish artists, adopting a “Jewish perspective”, creating complex and psychological portrayals of the heroines inspired by Jewish literature and as well as by historical and cultural phenomena of Jewish revival and the cultural Zionism movement.
Yiddish-Slavic Language Contact and Its Linguistic Outcome
Yiddish, the language of Eastern-European Jews, has so far been mostly described as Germanic within the framework of the traditional, divergence-based Language Tree Model. Meanwhile, advances in contact linguistics allow for a new approach, placing the idiom within the mixed language spectrum, with the Slavic component playing a significant role. So far, the Slavic elements were studied as isolated, adstratal borrowings. This book argues that they represent a coherent system within the grammar. This suggests that the Slavic languages had at least as much of a constitutive role in the inception and development of Yiddish as German and Hebrew. The volume is copiously illustrated with examples from the vernacular language.
With a contribution of Anna Pilarski, University of Szczecin.
This volume presents the reader with a fascinating collection of hymns composed by El‘azar the Babylonian, an Arab-Jewish poet who is active in Baghdad during the first half of the 13th century. His religious oeuvre consists of dozens of hymns, coming down to us from the treasures of the Cairo Genizah and the Firkovicz Collections. His compositions provide a cross-section of genres and liturgical destinations. El‘azar’s devotional hymnology is characterised by a striking spiritual tendency which reveals his familiarity with contemporary Sufism in both Muslim and Jewish circles.
Trans-Atlantic Mass Culture and the Avant-Gardes, 1880-1920
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Between 1880 and 1920, newspapers, magazines, and journals figured as the most important media for the public discussion of current events, as central nodes for the circulation of mass entertainments, and as windows into bustling art scenes. Periodicals thus presented themselves as crucial media for the negotiation and implementation of cultural modernization processes. Modernity and the Periodical Press explores this privileged role of the periodical press and focuses in particular on the often-neglected intersections between mass print culture and the practices of literary and artistic avant-gardes. In doing so, the volume examines a variety of materials that are shaped by the formats and themes of the periodical press, including Modernist little magazines, mass-marketed scrapbooks, advertising campaigns, comics, and more.
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A legend that captures the imagination of audiences and shapes representations of the Holocaust is that in Nazi concentration camps Jewish musicians were forced to play a Tango of Death as men, women and children made their way to the gas chambers. This book traces the origins of this legend to a little known concentration camp in Ukraine where musicians were forced to perform a Jewish tango at executions before they themselves were murdered. By reconstructing the creation of this legend, the book shows how the actual history is hidden, distorted, or even lost altogether.
Volume IV: The Crisis of Humanism (II). The End of the Jewish Center in Germany
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The last generation of German Jewish philosophers brought the long, tragic history of German-Jewish creative thought to a close in a blaze of glory, while transitioning to the new Jewish creative centers in Israel and America. The best known (Buber, Rosenzweig, Baeck, Strauss, Scholem) and the less known (Breuer, Birnbaum, Klatzkin, Aviad-Wolfsberg, Guttmann) are thoroughly explicated here, with generous primary text citations appearing in English for the first time, making this a rich sourcebook and reference for the thinkers presented.
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The main contribution of this book is that it tries to determine how the Jews answered the challenges of Roman society. Thus, the book presents a refreshing approach to the nature of the Roman attitude toward Judaism and the Jews. In addition, it provides the first detailed examination of the demography and geography of the Jewish communities in Roman Italy. The book also offers a new look at the legal standing of the Jewish communitarian organization. Last but not least, this study also addresses the various facets of the culture of the Jews living in Roman Italy.