Scholarship on ethnicity in modern Latin America has traditionally understood the region’s various societies as fusions of people of European, indigenous, and/or African descent. These are often deployed as stable categories, with European or “white” as a monolith against which studies of indigeneity or blackness are set. The role of post-independence immigration from eastern and western Europe—as well as from Asia, Africa, and Latin-American countries—in constructing the national ethnic landscape remains understudied. The contributors of this volume focus their attention on Jewish, Arab, non-Latin European, Asian, and Latin American immigrants and their experiences in their “new” homes. Rejecting exceptionalist and homogenizing tendencies within immigration history, contributors advocate instead an approach that emphasizes the locally- and nationally-embedded nature of ethnic identification.
A History of Cerebral Anthropology
Since the second half of the eighteenth century, generations of scientists persisted in studying the relationships between the volume, weight or shape of the human brain and the degree of ‘intelligence’. In Pogliano’s book, the thread of time drives the narrative up to the mid-twentieth century. It investigates the duration and changes of a game that was intrinsically political, although having to do with bones and nervous matter. Races made its main object, during a long period when Western culture believed the human species to be naturally partitioned into a number of discrete types, with their innate and hereditary traits. Never leading to irrefutable achievements, the polycentric (as well as visual) enterprise herein described is full of growing tensions, doubts, and disillusionment.
This book analyzes Jewish society in Roman Palestine in the time of the Mishnah (70–250 CE) in a systematic way, carefully delineating the various economic groups living therein, from the destitute, to the poor, to the middling, to the rich, and to the superrich. It gleans the various socioeconomic strata from the terminology employed by contemporary literary sources via contextual, philological, and historical-critical analysis. It also takes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze and interpret relevant archeological and inscriptional evidence as well as numerous legal sources.
The research presented herein shows that various expressions in the sources have latent meanings that indicate socioeconomic status. “Rich,” for example, does not necessarily refer to the elite, and “poor” does not necessarily refer to the destitute. Jewish society consisted of groups on a continuum from extremely poor to extremely rich, and the various middling groups played a more important role in the economy than has hitherto been thought.
Author: Rebekah Welton
In ‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.
Author: Lianne Merkur
In Pillars of Salt, Lianne Merkur offers an account of early 21st century immigration as experienced by Israelis in Berlin and Toronto. Commonly portrayed as contrary to the territorial emphasis of national integrity, these individuals and communities appear to explore a sense of belonging that evaluates and incorporates both foreign and familiar elements. Social media allows for an alternative space to balance between new home and homeland, studied here as developing simultaneously in multiple sites. The author makes use of innovative methodologies to document the participants’ own perspectives expressed online, at events or on paper. She thereby challenges established norms of interpretation to prove that personal decisions, primarily regarding preferred language or simply self-identification, are the cornerstones of collective character.
Performative Identities and Diasporas
This book focuses on one of the main issues of our time in the Humanities and Social Sciences as it analyzes the impact of current global migrations on new forms of living together and the formation of identities and homes. Using a transdisciplinary and transcultural approach the contributions shed fresh light upon key concepts such as ‘ hybrid-performative diaspora’, ‘ transidentities’,‘ hospitality’, ‘ belonging’, ‘ emotion’, ‘ body,’ and ‘ desire’. Those concepts are discussed in the context of Cuban, US-American, Maghrebian, Moroccan, Spanish, Catalan, French, Turkish, Jewish, Argentinian, Indian, and Italian literatures, cultures and religions.
Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John
Author: Stewart Penwell
In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.
Author: Sean Durbin
In Righteous Gentiles: Religion, Identity, and Myth in John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, Sean Durbin offers a critical analysis of America’s largest Pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel, along with its critics and collaborators. Although many observers focus Christian Zionism’s influence on American foreign policy, or whether or not Christian Zionism is ‘truly’ religious, Righteous Gentiles takes a different approach.

Through his creative and critical analysis of Christian Zionists’ rhetoric and mythmaking strategies, Durbin demonstrates how they represent their identities and political activities as authentically religious. At the same time, Durbin examines the role that Jews and the state of Israel have as vehicles or empty signifiers through which Christian Zionist truth claims are represented as manifestly real.
From Catalonia to the Caribbean: The Sephardic Orbit from Medieval to Modern Times is a polyphonic collection of essays in honor of Jane S. Gerber’s contributions as a leading scholar and teacher. Each chapter presents new or underappreciated source materials or questions familiar historical models to expand our understanding of Sephardic cultural, intellectual, and social history. The subjects of this volume are men and women, rich and poor, connected to various Sephardic Diasporas—Spanish, Portuguese, North African, or Middle Eastern—from medieval to modern times. They each, in their own way, challenged the expectations of their societies and helped to define the religious, ethnic, and intellectual experience of Sephardim as well as surrounding cultures throughout the world.
“Real” Place versus “Displaced” Time. Free Ebrei Volume 1
Editor: Vincenzo Pinto
Bundist Legacy after the Second World War offers an account on post-war Bund, the most important Jewish political party in East Europe before the outbreak of the Second World War. This subject area has attracted more attention in the last few years, when a new generation of scholars is trying to assess the “transformation” of memory and the political, cultural and pedagogical role played by the last members of Bund. This volume aims to create a new “Bund” (union) after the end of historical Bund, and help to answer the question, “What is to be done after the birth of Israel?” The volume is one of the first attempts to answer this crucial existential and political question.