Images of Eastern European Jewish Migration to America in Contemporary American Children’s Literature
Author: Jana Pohl
How is the life-altering event of migration narrated for children, especially if it was caused by Anti-Semitism and poverty? What of the country of origin is remembered and what is forgotten, and what of the target country when the migration is imagined there a century later? Looking Forward, Looking Back examines today’s representation of Jewish mass migration from Eastern Europe to America around the turn of the last century. It explores the collective story that emerges when American authors look back at this exodus from an Eastern European home to a new one to be established in America. Focusing on children’s literature, it investigates a wide range of texts including young adult literature as well as picture books and hence sheds light on the dynamics of the verbal and the visual in generating images of the self and other, the familiar and the strange.
This book is of interest to scholars in the field of imagology, children’s literature, cultural studies, American studies, Slavic studies, and Jewish studies.
Author: Jana Pohl

Abstract

The paper deals with the Lower East Side as a site of memory in children's literature in the United States. Contemporary children's books depict the Lower East Side in migration narratives about Eastern European Jews who came to America around the turn of the last century. They do so both verbally and visually by incorporating an often reproduced photograph that has come to symbolize the imaginary place. The Lower East Side is a Jewish site of immigrant poverty, crowded tenement houses, and sweat shops. In the examples given, it is used to dismantle the image of the Goldeneh Medina.

In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back
In: Looking Forward, Looking Back