Jewish Studies

The contributions to this volume consider topics such as the immigrant experience in coming to America after the trauma of the Holocaust; how the Shoah has shaped more recent interpretation of the Hebrew Bible; the role that survivors have fulfilled in educating American youth not only about the Holocaust itself, but also about how values - especially in regard to tolerance - can and must be shaped by eye-witness testimony on the Shoah; the impact of Holocaust in film, especially in "third-generation" cinema; the issues and difficulties of presenting the Shoah in children's literature; the dialogue between Christians and Jews, especially in America, and how that dialogue has been constructively influenced and shaped by the Holocaust; the way in which Jewish business activities have altered in the post-World War II environment and in the aftermath of the Holocaust and how the lessons of the Shoah have facilitated the change from nationalist to global economy; how the image and awareness of the Holocaust developed in the American media. For all the range that these articles encompass, throughout them all runs a common theme: that the Holocaust has indelibly marked almost every aspect of American culture. We cannot think of America, American ideals and values, America's role in the world today and the future of America in an increasingly dangerous world, without recognizing that the Shoah casts a long shadow across all these concerns and serves as one of the primary points of horrific historical reference by which we, as Americans, must measure ourselves.
Philippe Codde provides a comparative cultural analysis of the unprecedented success of the Jewish novel in the postwar United States by situating the process and event in the context of three closely-related American cultural movements: the popularity in the US of French philosophical and literary existentialism, the increasing visibility of the Holocaust in US-American life, and the advent of radical theology. Codde argues that the literary repertoire of the postwar Jewish novel consists of an amalgam of these cultural elements that were making their mark in the political, religious, and philosophical systems of the United States at the time, and that this explains, in part, the Jewish novel’s sweeping success in the American literary system.
The relationship between Jews and the United States is necessarily complex: Jews have been instrumental in shaping American culture and, of course, Jewish culture and religion have likewise been profoundly recast in the United States, especially in the period following World War II. A major focus of this work is to consider the Jewish role in American life as well as the American role in shaping Jewish life. This fifth volume of the Casden Institute's annual review is organized along five broad themes-politics, values, image, education and culture. Contents: The Politicization of Hollywood before World War II: Anti-Fascism, Anti-Communism, and Anti-Semitism (Steven J. Ross); 'Farther Away from New York': Jews in the Humanities after World War II (Andrew R. Heinze); How to Reach 71 in Jewish Art (R. B. Kitaj); R. B. Kitaj and the State of "Jew-on-the-Brain" (David N. Myers); Summer Camp, Postwar American Jewish Youth and the Redemption of Judaism (Riv-Ellen Prell); Faultlines: The Seven Socio-Ecologies of Jewish Los Angeles (Bruce A. Phillips).
The Memory Factory introduces an English-speaking public to the significant women artists of Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, each chosen for her aesthetic innovations and participation in public exhibitions. These women played important public roles as exhibiting artists, both individually and in collectives, but this history has been silenced over time. Their stories show that the city of Vienna was contradictory and cosmopolitan: despite men-only policies in its main art institutions, it offered a myriad of unexpected ways for women artists to forge successful public careers. Women artists came from the provinces, Russia, and Germany to participate in its vibrant art scene. However, and especially because so many of the artists were Jewish, their contributions were actively obscured beginning in the late 1930s. Many had to flee Austria, losing their studios and lifework in the process. Some were killed in concentration camps.   Along with the stories of individual women artists, the author reconstructs the history of separate women artists’ associations and their exhibitions. Chapters covering the careers of Tina Blau, Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Bronica Koller, Helene Funke, and Teresa Ries (among others) point to a more integrated and cosmopolitan art world than previously thought; one where women became part of the avant-garde, accepted and even highlighted in major exhibitions at the Secession and with the Klimt group.   “This is an excellent addition to the literature on fin-de-sicle Vienna, well-researched and well-argued. It highlights little-known artists and situates them in a novel interpretation of women’s roles in the art world. The author challenges dominant tropes of feminist historiography and thus sheds new light on twentieth-century art history and historiography.” —Michael Gubser,  James Madison University
New York Public Intellectuals and Beyond gathers a variety of distinguished scholars, from Eugene Goodheart to Peter Novick to Nathan Glazer, from Morris Dickstein to Suzanne Klingenstein to Ilan Stavans, to revisit and rethink the legacy of the New York intellectuals. The authors show how a small New York group, predominantly Jewish, moved from communist and socialist roots to become a primary voice of liberal humanism and, in the case of a few, to launch a new conservative movement. Concentrating on Lionel Trilling as the paradigmatic liberal intellectual, the book also includes thoughtful reconsiderations of Irving Howe and Dwight MacDonald, and explores the roots of the neoconservative movement and its changing role today.
Focusing on a diversely rich selection of writers, the pieces featured in Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Narrative explore the community of Jewish American writers who published their first book after the mid-1980s. It is the first book-length collection of essays on this subject matter with contributions from the leading scholars in the field. The manuscript does not attempt to foreground any one critical agenda, such as Holocaust writing, engagements with Zionism, feminist studies, postmodern influences, or multiculturalism. Instead, it celebrates the presence of a newly robust, diverse, and ever-evolving body of Jewish American fiction. This literature has taken a variety of forms with its negotiations of orthodoxy, its representations of a post-Holocaust world, its reassertion of folkloric tradition, its engagements with postmodernity, its reevaluations of Jewishness, and its alternative delineations of ethnic identity. Discussing the work of authors such as Allegra Goodman, Michael Chabon, Tova Mirvis, Rebecca Goldstein, Pearl Abraham, Jonathan Rosen, Nathan Englander, Melvin Jules Bukiet, Tova Reich, Sarah Schulman, Ruth Knafo Setton, Ben Katchor, and Jonathan Safran Foer, the fifteen contributors in this collection assert the ongoing vitality and ever-growing relevancy of Jewish American fiction.