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The World in Movement

Performative Identities and Diasporas

Edited by Alfonso de Toro and Juliane Tauchnitz

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.
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Jesus the Samaritan

Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John

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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 labelling 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.
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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.
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Edited by Federica Francesconi, Stanley Mirvis and Brian Smollett

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.
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Bundist Legacy after the Second World War

“Real” Place versus “Displaced” Time. Free Ebrei Volume 1

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Edited by 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.
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The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination, 1938-89

Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Zionism

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Hana Kubátová and Jan Láníček

The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination,1938-89 is the first critical inquiry into the nature of anti-Jewish prejudices in both main parts of former Czechoslovakia. The authors identify anti-Jewish prejudices over almost fifty years of the twentieth century, focusing primarily on the post-Munich period and the Second World War (1938–45), the post-war reconstruction (1945–48), as well as the Communist rule with both its thaws and returns to hardline rule (1948–89). It is a provocative examination of the construction of the image of ‘the Jew’ in the Czech and Slovak majority societies, the assigning of character and other traits – real or imaginary – to individuals or groups. The book analyses the impact of these constructed images on the attitudes of the majority societies towards the Jews, and on Holocaust memory in the country.
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Edited by Yoram Meital and Paula Rayman

In these times of growing insecurity, widening inequities and deepening crisis for civilized governance, Recognition as Key for Reconciliation offers meaningful and provocative thoughts on how to advance towards a more just and peaceful future. From the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict we learn of “thin” and “thick” recipes for solutions. Beyond the Middle East region we learn from studies around the globe: South Africa, Northern Ireland and Armenia show the challenges to genuine recognition of our very human connection to each other, and that this recognition is essential for any sustainable positive security for all of us.

Contributors are Deina Abdelkader, Gregory Aftandilian, Dale Eickelman, Amal Jamal, Maya Kahanoff, Herbert Kelman, Yoram Meital, Victoria Montgomery, Paula M. Rayman, Albie Sachs and Nira Yuval-Davis.
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The New Babylonian Diaspora

The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th-20th Centuries C.E. 

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Zvi Yehuda

The New Babylonian Diaspora: Rise and Fall of Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th–20th Centuries C.E. provides a historical survey of the Iraqi Jewish community's evolution from the apex of its golden age to its disappearance, emergence, rapid growth and annihilation. Making use of Judeo-Arabic newspapers and archives in London, Paris, Washington D.C. and other sources, Zvi Yehuda proves that from 1740 to 1914, Iraq became a lodestone for tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan, Persia, the Mediterranean Basin, and Eastern and Central Europe. After these Jews had settled in Baghdad and Mesopotamia, they became “Babylonians” and ‘forgot’ their lands of origin, contrary to the social habit of Jews in other communities throughout history.
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Arabic Instruction in Israel

Lessons in Conflict, Cognition and Failure

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Allon Uhlmann

In Arabic Instruction in Israel Allon J. Uhlmann confronts two conundrums, namely the persistently poor level of Arabic proficiency among Jewish Arabic students and teachers, and the traumatic alienation of Arab students by university Arabic grammar instruction.

These are not aberrations but rather direct, albeit unintended, systemic consequences of the field of Arabic instruction, where Jewish students encounter Arabic as a dead, hostile language; Jewish hegemony devalues native Arabic proficiency; and Arab students are locked into a fractured educational trajectory – encountering two alienating and mutually unintelligible grammars of Arabic at school and at university.

By tracing systemic variabilities in cognition and learning Uhlmann exposes hitherto misrecognised dynamics that hinder Arabic instruction in Israel, thereby offering new avenues for possible change.

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Edited by Yosef Kaplan and Dan Michman

In The Religious Cultures of Dutch Jewry an international group of scholars examines aspects of religious belief and practice of pre-emancipation Sephardim and Ashkenazim in Amsterdam, Curaçao and Surinam, ceremonial dimensions, artistic representations of religious life, and religious life after the Shoa. The origins of Dutch Jewry trace back to diverse locations and ancestries: Marranos from Spain and Portugal and Ashkenazi refugees from Germany, Poland and Lithuania. In the new setting and with the passing of time and developments in Dutch society at large, the religious life of Dutch Jews took on new forms. Dutch Jewish society was thus a microcosm of essential changes in Jewish history.