Writing Jewish Culture: Paradoxes In Ethnography

Paperback | April 4, 2016

EditorGabriella Safran

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Focusing on Eastern and Central Europe before WWII, this collection explores various genres of "ethnoliterature" across temporal, geographical, and ideological borders as sites of Jewish identity formation and dissemination. Challenging the assumption of cultural uniformity among Ashkenazi Jews, the contributors consider how ethnographic literature defines Jews and Jewishness, the political context of Jewish ethnography, and the question of audience, readers, and listeners. With contributions from leading scholars and an appendix of translated historical ethnographies, this volume presents vivid case studies across linguistic and disciplinary divides, revealing a rich textual history that throws the complexity and diversity of a people into sharp relief.

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Focusing on Eastern and Central Europe before WWII, this collection explores various genres of "ethnoliterature" across temporal, geographical, and ideological borders as sites of Jewish identity formation and dissemination. Challenging the assumption of cultural uniformity among Ashkenazi Jews, the contributors consider how ethnograph...

Andreas Kilcher is a professor at ETH Zurich and author of The Linguistic Theory of Kabbalah as an Aesthetical Paradigm and Dictionary of German-Jewish Literature.Gabriella Safran is the Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies at Stanford University and author of Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky.

other books by Gabriella Safran

Writing Jewish Culture: Paradoxes in Ethnography
Writing Jewish Culture: Paradoxes in Ethnography

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:426 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 4, 2016Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253019621

ISBN - 13:9780253019622

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Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration and Names
Introduction / Andreas Kilcher and Gabriella Safran
Part 1: Reinventing the "Jews" in Ethnographic Writing
1. The Voice of a Native Informer: Salomon Maimon Describes Life in Polish Lithuania / Liliane Weissberg
2. Legends of Authenticity: Das Buch von den polnischen Juden (1916) by S. J. Agnon and Ahron Eliasberg / Sylvia Jaworski
3. The Cold Order and the Eros of Storytelling: Joseph Roth's "Exotic Jews" / Andreas Kilcher
4. Yiddish Ethnographic Poetics and Moyshe Kulbak's "Vilne" / Jordan Finkin
Part 2: Seeing, Hearing, and Reading Jews
5. Listening in the Dark: The Yiddish Folklorists' Claim of a Russian Genealogy / Gabriella Safran
6. Ethnoliterary Modernity: Jewish Ethnography and Literature in the Russian Empire and Poland (1890-1930) / Annette Werberger
7. Imagining the Wandering Jew in Modernity: Exegesis and Ethnography in Feuchtwanger's Jud Süss / Galit Hasan-Rokem
8. Exclusion and Inclusion: Ethnography of War in Kriegsgefangene (1916) and Das Ostjüdische Antlitz (1920) / Eva Edelmann-Ohler
9. Avant-Garde Authenticity: Ethnography and Identity in Moï Ver's Photobook Ein Ghetto im Osten / Samuel Spinner
Part 3: Spaces of Jewish Ethnography between Diaspora and Nation
10. Zionism's Ethnographic Knowledge: Leo Motzkin's and Heinrich York-Steiner's Narratives of Palestine (1898-1904) / Alexander Alon
11. Eastern Europe in Argentina: Yiddish Travelogues and the Exploration of Jewish Diaspora / Tamar Lewinsky
Part 4: Politics and the Addressee of Ethnography
12. From Custom Book to Folk Culture: Minhag and the Roots of Jewish Ethnography / Nathaniel Deutsch
13. In Search of the Exotic: "Jewish Houses" and Synagogues in Russian Travel Notes / Alla Sokolova
14. Ballads of Strangers: Constructing "Ethnographic Moments" in Jewish Folklore / Dani Schrire
Appendices
Note to Readers
A. What Is Jewish Ethnography? (Handbook for Fieldworkers) / Naftoli Vaynig and Khayim Khayes, Translated by Jordan Finkin
B. Research Your Shtetl / H. Aleksandrov, Translated by Jordan Finkin
C. "A Strange Experience" / A. Almi, Translated by Gabriella Safran
List of Contributors
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Writing Jewish Culture looks at the ethnographic issues while defining Jewishness in a very fresh, sophisticated way. The contributors in this volume are accomplished and unmatched scholars. It is a very timely and important addition to the literature on Jewish ethnography." -Washington Book Review