the faculty bookshelf
Marking the Jews in Renaissance Italy: Politics, Religion, and the Power of Symbols
What might appear a straightforward task of archival documentation proves remarkably protean, slippery, and challenging, as Flora Cassen, in Marking the Jews in Renaissance Italy: Politics, Religion, and the Power of Symbols, seeks to trace the history of the badge—usually a yellow circular patch or hat—that Jews were required to wear in public in areas of northern Italy during the early modern era. This stimulating book has highlighted the complexity of the issue without, of course, being able to resolve all of the questions it raises.
What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (and What It Means to Americans)
"Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (and What It Means to Americans)” scholars, writers, and translators tackle a series of urgent questions that arise from the changing status of Hebrew in the United States. To what extent is that status affected by evolving Jewish identities and shifting attitudes toward Israel and Zionism? Will Hebrew programs survive the current crisis in the humanities on university campuses? How can the vibrancy of Hebrew literature be conveyed to a larger audience?
The volume features a diverse group of distinguished contributors, including Sarah Bunin Benor, Dara Horn, Adriana Jacobs, Alan Mintz, Hannah Pressman, Adam Rovner, Ilan Stavans, Michael Weingrad, Robert Whitehill-Bashan, and Wendy Zierler. With lively personal insights, their essays give fellow Americans a glimpse into the richness of an exceptional language.
Celebrating the vitality of modern Hebrew, this book addresses the challenges and joys of being a Hebraist in America in the twenty-first century. Together these essays explore ways to rekindle an interest in Hebrew studies, focusing not just on what Hebrew means-as a global phenomenon and long-lived tradition-but on what it can mean to Americans.
Nancy E. Berg is professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at Washington University and the author of “Exile from Exile: Israeli Writers from Iraq.” Naomi B. Sokoloff is professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of Washington. She is the author of “Imagining the Child in Modern Jewish Fiction” and coeditor of “Boundaries of Jewish Identity.”
Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making
Toward the end of the twentieth century, an unprecedented surge of writing altered the Israeli literary scene in profound ways. As fresh creative voices and multiple languages vied for recognition, diversity replaced consensus. Genres once accorded lower status—such as the graphic novel and science fiction—gained readership and positive critical notice. These trends ushered in not only the discovery and recovery of literary works but also a major rethinking of literary history. In Since 1948, scholars consider how recent voices have succeeded older ones and reverberated in concert with them; how linguistic and geographical boundaries have blurred; how genres have shifted; and how canon and competition have shaped Israeli culture. Charting surprising trajectories of a vibrant, challenging, and dynamic literature, the contributors analyze texts composed in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Arabic; by Jews and non-Jews; and by Israelis abroad as well as writers in Israel. What emerges is a portrait of Israeli literature as neither minor nor regional, but rather as transnational, multilingual, and worthy of international attention.
Exodus in the Jewish Experience: Echoes and Reverberations
The Bhojpuri language, Culture and Traditional Wedding Rituals in Bihar (North India)
The Anthropology of Islamic Law: Education, Ethics, and Legal Interpretation at Egypt's Al-Azhar
The Anthropology of Islamic Law shows how hermeneutic theory and practice theory can be brought together to analyze cultural, legal, and religious traditions. These ideas are developed through an analysis of the Islamic legal tradition, which examines both Islamic legal doctrine and religious education. The book combines anthropology and Islamist history, using ethnography and in-depth analysis of Arabic religious texts. The book focuses on higher religious learning in contemporary Egypt, examining its intellectual, ethical, and pedagogical dimensions. Data is drawn from fieldwork inside al-Azhar University, Cairo University's Dar al-Ulum, and the network of traditional study circles associated with the al-Azhar mosque. Together these sites constitute the most important venue for the transmission of religious learning in the contemporary Muslim world. The book gives special attention to contemporary Egypt, and also provides a broader analysis relevant to Islamic legal doctrine and religious education throughout history.
The Making of Czech Jewry
Examining the post-emancipatory, post-industrial transformation of Czech-Jewish society, Hillel J. Kieval focuses on the Czech-Jewish movement and Prague Zionism, charting their development up to the start of the First Czechoslovak Republic. Though different in fundamental ways, the Czech-Jewish movement and Prague Zionism held remarkable similarities: both emerged from the second phase of modernization of Bohemian Jewry; both represented a turnabout in cultural and national loyalties; and both, ironically, saw themselves as the best vehicle for Jewish integration into a nationally charged, highly contentious, European environment. Emphasizing the multi-ethnic character of the region, the linguistic dexterity and cultural ambiguity of its Jewish population, and the decisive impact of national conflict on the creation of Jewish attitudes and behavior, the book offers a new picture--the first in English--of the social and cultural life of Central European Jewry at the turn of the century.
Second-Generation Holocaust Literature
Among historical events of the 20th century, the Holocaust is unrivaled as the subject of both scholarly and literary writing. Literary responses include not only thousands of autobiographical and fictional texts written by survivors, but also, more recently, works by writers who are not survivors but nevertheless feel compelled to write about the Holocaust. Writers from what is known as the second generation have produced texts that express their feeling of being powerfully marked by events of which they have had no direct experience. This book expands the commonly-used definition of second-generation literature, which refers to texts written from the perspective of the children of survivors, to include texts written from the point of view of the children of Nazi perpetrators. With its innovative focus on the literary legacy of both groups, it investigates how second-generation writers employ similar tropes of stigmatization to express their troubled relationships to their parents' histories. Through readings of nine American, German, and French literary texts, Erin McGlothlin demonstrates how an anxiety with signification is manifested in the very structure of second-generation literature, revealing the extent to which the literary texts themselves are marked by the continuing aftershocks of the Holocaust.
Ortacag Islam'inda Mesihci Inanclar ve Imparatorluk Siyaseti - Dokuzuncu Yüzyilin Baslarinda Abbasi Hilafeti
Ortacag Islâm'inda Mesihci Inanclar ve Imparatorluk Siyaseti, Abbâsî hilafetinin ilk donemlerini ele almakta ve el-Me'mûn'un tahta gecmesiyle sonuclanan el-Emîn ile el-Me'mûn arasindaki ic savasin, siklikla gozden kacirilan bir yonunu, o donemde Muslumanlar ve Musluman olmayanlar arasinda dolasimda olan gelecege dair rivayetler baglaminda Me'mûn'un dikkat cekici siyasetini izah etmeye calismaktadir. 809-833 yillari arasindaki donemi daha yakindan incelemesine ragmen, Ortacag Islâm'inda Mesihci Inanclar'in temel amaci, halifelerin kendi dinî-siyasal gundemlerini bicimlendirdikleri, idame ettirdikleri ve mesrulastirdiklari baslica hâkim ideolojilerden birisi olarak mesihci ve âhir zamanci (apocalyptic) inanclarin Abbâsî siyasal davranisini sekillendirmesindeki rolune isik tutmaktir. "Hayrettin Yucesoy'un ozenle hazirlanan kitabi erken donem Ortacag Islâm'inda mesihci inanclar konusunda belirleyici kitap olacaktir. Detaylara yonelik kili kirk yaran dikkati ve dusunce dolu bulgulari, Islâm'in kurucu donemindeki entelektuel tarihe buyuk bir katki saglayacaktir" -Asma Afsaruddin- (Tanitim Bulteninden)
The Evolution of Arabic
Early in the seventh century, Aramaic was superseded by Arabic, which gained widespread prestige and legitimacy as the official language of Islam. The expansion of the Islamic empire spread the language as far as Central Asia and the Iberian Peninsula, today’s Spain, known then as Al-Andalus or Andalusia.
Reorienting the East: Jewish Travelers to the Medieval Muslim World
Reorienting the East explores the Islamic world as it was encountered, envisioned, and elaborated by Jewish travelers from the Middle Ages to the early modern period. The first comprehensive investigation of Jewish travel writing from this era, this study engages with questions raised by postcolonial studies and contributes to the debate over the nature and history of Orientalism as defined by Edward Said. Examining two dozen Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic travel accounts from the mid-twelfth to the early sixteenth centuries, Martin Jacobs asks whether Jewish travelers shared Western perceptions of the Islamic world with their Christian counterparts.
More and More Equal
More and More Equal examines the works of Sami Michael, the most significant Israeli writer who has made the transition from Arabic to Hebrew. Born in Baghdad, Michael fled in 1948 to Iran, and later to Israel, to escape imprisonment or execution due to his involvement with the Iraqi Communist Party. Early in his career Michael was deemed merely an "ethnic" writer, but his incredible popular success and indelible influence on his Israeli audience have forced critics to consider his writings anew. Nancy E. Berg sheds light on Michael's belated canonization and traces his development as a storyteller. Berg offers fresh readings of each of Michael's major novels.
Exile from Exile
The standard histories of Israeli literature limit the canon, virtually ignoring those who came to Israel from Jewish communities in the Middle East. By focusing on the work of Iraqi-born authors, this book offers a fundamental rethinking of the canon and of Israeli literary history.
The story of these writers challenges common conceptions of exile and Zionist redemption. At the heart of this book lies the paradox that the dream of ingathering the exiles has made exiles of the ingathered. Upon arriving in Israel, these writers had to decide whether to continue writing in their native language, Arabic, or begin in a new language, Hebrew. The author reveals how Israeli works written in Arabic depict different memories of Iraq from those written in Hebrew.
Messianic Beliefs & Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam
Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam analyzes the role of Muslim messianic and apocalyptic beliefs in the development of the 'Abbasid Caliphate to highlight connections between charismatic authority and institutional developments in the early ninth century. Hayrettin Yücesoy studies the relationship between rulers and religion to advance understanding of the era's political actions and, more specifically, to illustrate how messianic beliefs influenced 'Abbasid imperial politics and contributed to the reshaping of the caliphate under al-Ma'mun (809-33) after a decade-long civil war.
Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands
With a keen eye for revealing details, Hillel J. Kieval examines the contours and distinctive features of Jewish experience in the lands of Bohemia and Moravia (the present-day Czech Republic), from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. In the Czech lands, Kieval writes, Jews have felt the need constantly to define and articulate the nature of group identity, cultural loyalty, memory, and social cohesiveness, and the period of "modernizing" absolutism, which began in 1780, brought changes of enormous significance. From that time forward, new relationships with Gentile society and with the culture of the state blurred the traditional outlines of community and individual identity. Kieval navigates skillfully among histories and myths as well as demography, biography, culture, and politics, illuminating the maze of allegiances and alliances that have molded the Jewish experience during these 200 years.
Language of Empire: Politics of Arabic and Persian in Abbasid World
This essay aims to contribute to current studies of language and empire by considering Arabic and Persian in the ninth and tenth centuries. Following the lead of Edward Said on colonial empires and translation, I focus on the political aspects of language and translation in "premodern" trans-Asian societies, which have not yet recieved the nuanced attention they deserve. Accentuating the act of adopting and supporting a language as political, I argue that the wax and wane of imperial languages were predicated on two usually simultaneous dynamics: intra-imperial interests and, to use Laura Doyle's term, inter-imperial competition.
Formování českého židovstva: Národnostní konflikt a židovská společnost v Čechách 1870–1918
Společnost a kultura v českých zemích procházely na přelomu 19. století proměnami, jež navždy změnily podobu českého židovstva. Vyostřený etnický nacionalismus a demografické tlaky vedly ke druhé židovské modernizaci a ke dvěma velkým experimentům - k "českožidovskému hnutí" a "pražskému sionismu". Tato dvě hnutí, ačkoliv podstatně protichůdná, si byla v některých ohledech pozoruhodně podobná. Autor sleduje jejich osudy a ukazuje, v čem předjímala chování Židů ve 20. století a židovskou kulturní adaptaci v prvních letech nové československé republiky. Kniha polemizuje s převládající představou o pražském a českém židovstvu jako baště německé kultury a politického liberalismu v nepřátelském slovanském světě. Formování českého židovstva patří k základním textům moderní historiografie židovstva.
A City Consumed: Urban Commerce, the Cairo Fire, and the Politics of Decolonization in Egypt
Though now remembered as an act of anti-colonial protest leading to the Egyptian military coup of 1952, the Cairo Fire that burned through downtown stores and businesses appeared to many at the time as an act of urban self-destruction and national suicide. The logic behind this latter view has now been largely lost. Offering a revised history, Nancy Reynolds looks to the decades leading up to the fire to show that the lines between foreign and native in city space and commercial merchandise were never so starkly drawn.