Returning to Babel

Jewish Latin American Experiences, Representations, and Identity


Editors: Amalia Ran and Jean Cahan
This volume offers a re-examination of some of the prevalent paradigms in Latin American Jewish Studies and an instigation to further explorations in this area. It sets out from an interdisciplinary standpoint, comprising literature, culture, history, cinematography, music and visual arts. This collection of articles seeks a wider range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives concerning Latin American Jewish experiences, and thereby offers a framework for innovative as well as traditional modes of analysis. It elaborates on themes of Jewish identity as represented in the history, cultures and societies of Latin America in the current era of hybridism and transnationalism.
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Biographical Note

Amalia Ran, Ph.D. (2007) in Spanish, University of Maryland, is Assistant Professor of contemporary Latin American literature at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and a Research Fellow at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies in Tel-Aviv University. She has published on Latin American literature and Jewish Latin American culture, including Made of Shores: Judeo Argentinean Fiction Revisited, forthcoming by Lehigh University Press (2011).
Jean Axelrad Cahan, Ph.D (1983) The Johns Hopkins University, is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Director of the Norman and Bernice Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has published articles on Spinoza, Marx and modern Jewish thought.

Table of contents

Introduction: Rethinking Jewish Identity in Latin America Amalia Ran and Jean Axelrad Cahan
Part 1. Jewish Latin American Experiences, Past and Present
1. Jewish Latin American Historiography: The Challenges Ahead Raanan Rein
2. Educating Argentine Jews: Sephardim and Their Schools, 1920–1960 Adriana Brodsky
3. The Jewish Latin American Writer and Tradition: The Case of Sergio Chejfec Sergio Waisman
Part 2. Jewishness as Literary Representation
4. Should We Bury the Jewish Gaucho? A New Gerchunoff for the Twenty-First Century Edna Aizenberg
5. Hacer la América: The Diasporic Imagination in Saed’s Triple crónica de un hombre Joanna L. Mitchell
6. Judaism, Sexuality, and the Nation in Francisco Goldman’s The Divine Husband Ariana Vigil
Part 3. Jewish and Lo Latinoamericana in the Arts
7. Borges and the Kabbalah: Pre-Texts to a Text Saúl Sosnowski
8. Music of the Underdog: Sociological and Musical Similarities between Muzika Mizrahit and Salsa Moshe Morad
9. Jewish Puberty in Contemporary Latin American Cinema: Constructing Judeo-Latinidad Tzvi Tal
Part 4. The Notion of Otherness and the Question of Integration
10. “The Books That Should Not Be Missing in Any Jewish Home”: Translation as a Cultural Policy in Argentina, 1919–1938 Alejandro Dujovne
11. Beyond Identity: Clarice Lispector and the Ethical Transcendence of Being for the Other Nelson Vieira
12. Plausible Alternatives in the Jewish Argentinean Integration Game Lourdes Barranco-Cortés
13. Otherness in El árbol de la gitana Dayana Soto y Caballero de Galicia


This volume is aimed primarily at scholars and students in Latin American Studies and Judaic Studies, as well as those interested in political theory, subaltern studies and global studies.


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