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Jews Passing as Gentiles in Post-WWII and Multicultural American Fiction
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Racial passing has fascinated thousands of American readers since the end of the nineteenth century. However, the phenomenon of Jews passing as gentiles has been all but overlooked. This book examines forgotten novels depicting Jewish Americans masquerading as gentiles. Exploring two "waves" of publications of this subgenre—in the 1940s-1950s and 1990s-2000s—this book asks questions about the perceptions of Jewish difference during these periods.Looking at issues such as Whiteness, Americannes, gender, and race, it traces the changes in the presentation of Jewish identity during the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium.
An Exploration of Modern Jewish Ontology via Identities in Popular Culture
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Historically Judaism has been called both a nation and a religion, yet there are those Jews who eschew the religious and national definitions for a cultural one. For example, while TV’s Mrs. Maisel is ostensibly a Jew, the actor playing her is not, and Mrs. Maisel’s actions are not always Jewish. In The Fractured Jew Joel West separates Judaism into phenomenological and performative, starting with popular portrayals of Jews and Judaism, in today’s media, as a jumping-off point to understand Judaism and Jewishness, not from the outside, but from the emic, internal, Jewish point of view.
While some describe the Greek Psalter as a “slavish” or “interlinear” translation with “dreadfully poor poetry,” how would its original audience have described it? Positioning the translation within the developing corpus of Jewish-Greek literature, Jones analyzes the Psalter’s style based on the textual models and literary strategies available to its translator. She demonstrates that the translator both respects the integrity of his source and displays a sensitivity to his translation’s performative aspects. By adopting recognizable and acceptable Jewish-Greek literary conventions, the translator ultimately creates a text that can function independently and be read aloud or performed in the Jewish-Greek community.
King David in the Image of the Shekhinah in Kabbalistic Literature
In The Feminine Messiah: King David in the Image of the Shekhina in Kabbalistic Literature, Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel presents an in-depth study focusing on the centrality of the figure of King David in Jewish culture and mystical literature. King David is one of the most colorful, complex, and controversial personalities in Jewish lore. While numerous studies have focused on David's centrality to biblical literature and late antiquity, to date no comprehensive scholarly attempt has been made to investigate his image in Jewish kabbalistic literature. This innovative study also contributes to the understanding of the connection between the mystical and psychoanalytic perception of the self, as well as illuminating issues of gender fluidity, identity, and sexuality in medieval kabbalistic literature.
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This study – the first full-length monograph in English on the subject – discusses the genesis of Theodor Lessing’s philosophy of history as mainly expressed in his books Geschichte als Sinngebung des Sinnlosen (1919 and 1927), as well as its philosophical implications. Lessing on the one hand vehemently denies that historians can know the past as it actually happened. On the other hand, and rather surprisingly, he emphasizes the exceptional importance of history within a culture, because of what he calls its religious function. His penetrating analysis of history is remarkably relevant for ongoing debates on the very nature of history.
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Converso and Morisco are the terms applied to those Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity in large numbers and usually under duress in late Medieval Spain. The Converso and Morisco Studies series examines the implications of these mass conversions for the converts themselves, for their heirs (also referred to as Conversos and Moriscos) and for Medieval and Modern Spanish culture. As the essays in this collection attest, the study of the Converso and Morisco phenomena is not only important for those scholars focusing on Spanish society and culture, but for all academics interested in questions of identity, Otherness, nationalism, religious intolerance and the challenges of modernity.

Contributors: Luis F. Bernabé Pons, Michel Boeglin, Stephanie M. Cavanaugh, William P. Childers, Carlos Gilly, Kevin Ingram, Nicola Jennings, Patrick J. O’Banion, Francisco Javier Perea Siller, Mohamed Saadan, and Enrique Soria Mesa.
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In Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories in the Early Modern Iberian World: Narratives of Fear and Hatred, François Soyer offers the first detailed historical analysis of antisemitic conspiracy theories in Spain, Portugal and their overseas colonies between 1450 and 1750. These conspiracy theories accused Jews and conversos, the descendants of medieval Jewish converts to Christianity, of deadly plots and blamed them for a range of social, religious, military and economic problems. Ultimately, many Iberian antisemitic conspiracy theorists aimed to create a ‘moral panic’ about the converso presence in Iberian society, thereby justifying the legitimacy of ethnic discrimination within the Church and society. Moreover, they were also exploited by some churchmen seeking to impose an idealized sense of communal identity upon the lay faithful.
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A Companion to Medieval Toledo. Reconsidering the Canons explores the limits of “Convivencia” through new and problematized readings of material familiar to specialists and offers a thoughtful initiation for the non-specialist into the historical, cultural, and religious complexity of the iconic city of Toledo. The volume seeks to understand the history and cultural heritage of the city as a result of fluctuating coexistence. Divided into three themed sections,- the essays consider additional material, new transcriptions, and perspectives that contribute to more nuanced understandings of traditional texts or events. The volume places this cultural history and these new readings into current scholarly debates and invites its readers to do the same.
Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians in Modern Popular Fiction
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Rewriting the Ancient World looks at how and why the ancient world, including not only the Greeks and Romans, but also Jews and Christians, has been rewritten in popular fictions of the modern world. The fascination that ancient society holds for later periods in the Western world is as noticeable in popular fiction as it is in other media, for there is a vast body of work either set in, or interacting with, classical models, themes and societies. These works of popular fiction encompass a very wide range of society, and the examination of the interaction between these books and the world of classics provides a fascinating study of both popular culture and example of classical reception.
Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life is the first biography in English of Geneviève Straus (1849-1926), a Parisian salon hostess and political activist. Joyce Block Lazarus explores myths surrounding Straus and offers an account of her life and accomplishments. Making use of historical materials, including previously unpublished letters, Lazarus shows that Straus was a female intellectual during an era when women were non-citizens.
Scholars have well documented the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906), but have overlooked archival documents which spotlight Straus’s role as a political activist in the affair. In Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life, Lazarus highlights Straus’s thirty-four-year friendship with Marcel Proust and examines her influence on Proust’s novel, In Search of Lost Time, finding echoes of Straus and her family in his masterpiece.