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Site of Amnesia: The Lost Historical Consciousness of Mizrahi Jewry

Representation of the Experience of the Jews of North Africa and the Middle East during World War II in Israeli, European and Middle Eastern Film and Television

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Yvonne Kozlovsky Golan

This study deepens our historical understanding of the North-African Jewish and Middle Eastern Jewish experience during WWII, which is often under- or mis-represented by the media in Israel, the Arab world, France, and Italy. Public, historical and sociocultural discourse is examined to clarify whether these communities are accepted by the world as "Holocaust survivors". Further, it determines the extent to which their wartime history is revealed to Israeli society in its cultural performances. Importantly, this work addresses the reasons why the Holocaust of North African Jewry is absent from Israeli and world consciousness. Finally, the study contemplates the consequences of these phenomena for Israeli society as well as in the colonial countries of France and Italy.
Open Access

Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940

Opening New Archives, Revisiting a Global City

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Edited by Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire

In Ordinary Jerusalem, Angelos Dalachanis, Vincent Lemire and thirty-five scholars depict the ordinary history of an extraordinary global city in the late Ottoman and Mandate periods. Utilizing largely unknown archives, they revisit the holy city of three religions, which has often been defined solely as an eternal battlefield and studied exclusively through the prism of geopolitics and religion. At the core of their analysis are topics and issues developed by the European Research Council-funded project “Opening Jerusalem Archives: For a Connected History of Citadinité in the Holy City, 1840–1940.” Drawn from the French vocabulary of geography and urban sociology, the concept of citadinité describes the dynamic identity relationship a city’s inhabitants develop with each other and with their urban environment.
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Edited by Lily Kahn

Jewish Languages in Historical Perspective is devoted to the diverse array of spoken and written language varieties that have been employed by Jews in the Diaspora from antiquity until the twenty-first century. It focuses on the following five key themes: Jewish languages in dialogue with sacred Jewish texts, Jewish languages in contact with the co-territorial non-Jewish languages, Jewish vernacular traditions, the status of Jewish languages in the twenty-first century, and theoretical issues relating to Jewish language research. This volume includes case studies on a wide range of Jewish languages both historical and modern and devotes attention to lesser known varieties such as Jewish Berber, Judeo-Italian, and Karaim in addition to the more familiar Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, and Ladino.
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Hebrew Literature and the 1948 War

Essays on Philology and Responsibility

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Hannan Hever

Hebrew Literature and the 1948 War: Essays on Philology and Responsibility is the first book-length study that examines the conspicuous absence of the Palestinian Nakba in modern Hebrew literature. Through a rigorous reading of canonical Hebrew literary texts, the author addresses the general failure of Hebrew literature to take responsibility for the Nakba. The book illustrates how the language of modern Hebrew poetry and fiction reflects symptoms of Israeli national violence, in which the literary language produces a picture of Palestine as an arena where the violent clash between the perpetrators and the victims takes place. In doing so, the author develops a new and critical paradigm for reflecting on the moral responsibility of literature and the ethics of reading. The book includes close readings of the works of Avot Yeshurun, S. Yizhar, Nathan Alterman, Yehuda Amichai, Yitzhak Laor, and Amos Oz, among others.

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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.
Open Access

After Conversion

Iberia and the Emergence of Modernity

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Edited by Mercedes García-Arenal

This book examines the religious and ideological consequences of mass conversion in Iberia, where Jews and Muslims were forcibly converted or expelled at the end of the XVth century and beginning of the XVIth, and in this way it explores the fraught relationship between origins and faith. It treats also of the consequences of coercion on intellectual debates and the production of knowledge, taking into account how integrating new converts from Judaism and Islam stimulated Christian scholars to confront the converts’ sacred texts and created a distinctive peninsular hermeneutics. The book thus assesses the importance of the “Converso problem” in issues such as religious dissidence, dissimulation, and doubt and skepticism while establishing the process by which religious dissidence came to be categorized as heresy and was identified with converts from Judaism and Islam even when Lutheranism was often in the background.
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The Wandering Throne of Solomon

Objects and Tales of Kingship in the Medieval Mediterranean

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Allegra Iafrate

In The Wandering Throne of Solomon: Objects and Tales of Kingship in the Medieval Mediterranean Allegra Iafrate analyzes the circulation of artifacts and literary traditions related to king Solomon, particularly among Christians, Jews and Muslims, from the 10th to the 13th century.

The author shows how written sources and objects of striking visual impact interact and describes the efforts to match the literary echoes of past wonders with new mirabilia. Using the throne of Solomon as a case-study, she evokes a context where Jewish rabbis, Byzantine rulers, Muslim ambassadors, Christian sovereigns and bishops all seem to share a common imagery in art, technology and kingship.

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The Festschrift Darkhei Noam

The Jews of Arab Lands

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Edited by Carsten Schapkow, Shmuel Shepkaru and Alan T. Levenson

The Festschrift Darkhei Noam: The Jews of Arab Lands presented to Norman (Noam) Stillman offers a coherent and thought-provoking discussion by eminent scholars in the field of both the history and culture of the Jews in the Islamic World from pre-modern to modern times. Based on primary sources the book speaks to the resilience, flexibility, and creativity of Jewish culture in Arab lands.

The volume clearly addresses the areas of research Norman Stillman himself has considerably contributed to. Research foci of the book are on the flexibility of Jewish law in real life, Jewish cultural life particularly on material and musical culture, the role of women in these different societies, antisemitism and Jewish responses to hatred against the Jews, and antisemitism from ancient martyrdom to modern political Zionism.
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Sara Koplik

A Political and Economic History of the Jews of Afghanistan by Sara Koplik describes the situation of Jews in that country during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly 1839-1952. It examines the political, economic and social conditions they faced as religious minorities. The work focuses upon harsh governmental economic policies of the 1930s and 1940s spearheaded by 'Abd al-Majid Khan Zabuli which caused the impoverishment and suffering of both the local community and refugees from Soviet Central Asia. The question of Nazi influence in Afghanistan is addressed, with the author arguing that it was mainly limited to the economic sphere. An examination of the appeal of Zionism and the community's immigration to Israel is included.
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Edited by Matthias Bley, Nikolas Jaspert and Stefan Köck

While comparative studies on purity and impurity presented in the last decades have mostly concentrated on the ancient world or on modern developments, this volume focusses the hitherto comparatively neglected period between ca. 300 and 1600 c. E. The collection is innovative because it not only combines papers on both European and Asian cultures but also considers a wide variety of religions and confessions. The articles are written by leading experts in the field and are presented in six systematic sections. This analytical categorization facilitates understanding the functional spectrum that the binomial purity and impurity could cover in past societies. The volume thus presents an in-depth comparative analysis of a category of paramount importance for interfaith relations and processes of transfer.