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Introduction: Jewish Studies and Postcolonialism

  • Willi Goetschel (a1) and Ato Quayson (a1)

Abstract

The introduction to this special issue makes the case for seeing Jewish studies and postcolonialism as part of a historical constellation that has mutual filiations and genealogies in the two fields. It calls for the imperative to see the world’s problems historically but also through the mutually illuminating perspectives of the two fields.

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References

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1 An excellent breakdown of the nature of the Syrian refugee crisis is provided by Professor Hans Rosling in a short but well-structured video. See www.facebook.com/gapminder.org/videos/1014061668628791/?pnref=story; last accessed on September 10, 2015.

2 Zizek, Slavoj, “The Non-Existence of Norway,” London Review of Books Online, September 9, 2015; www.lrb.co.uk/2015/09/09/slavoj-zizek/the-non-existence-of-norway; last accessed October 5, 2015.

3 Marrus, Michael R., The Unwanted: European Refugees from the First World War through the Cold War (Philadelphia: Temple University Press), 10.

4 Cheyette, Bryan, “Frantz Fanon and the Black-Jewish Imaginary,” Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Max Silverman (Manchester University Press 2005), 74.

5 Mendelssohn, Moses, preface to Manasseh Ben Israel’s Vindication of the Jews, in Writings on Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible, ed. Michah Gottlieb, trans. Curtis Bowman, Elias Sacks, and Allan Arkush (Waltham, MA.: Brandeis University Press, 2011), 3952, esp. 40.

6 Rothberg, Michael, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).

7 Jonathan, and Boyarin, Daniel, Powers of Diaspora: Two Essays on the Relevance of Jewish Culture, (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002); Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, (Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995).

8 For a good recent discussion of the joint Jewish and postcolonial sources of Derrida and Cixous work, see Kaiser, BirgitAlgerian Disorders: On Deconstructive Postcolonialism in Cixous and Derrida,” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 2.2 (2014): 191211. For recent work concerning the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory relation to Jewish thought see the two theme issues of Bamidbar: Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy 1 (2013) and 2 (2014).

9 Moses Mendelssohn, ibid.

10 See Goetschel, Willi, “State, Sovereignty, and the Outside Within: Mendelssohn’s View from the ‘Jewish Colony,’ ” The Discipline of Philosophy and the Invention of Modern Jewish Thought (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013), 178188.

11 Galchinsky, Michael, “Africans, Indians, Arabs, and Scots: Jewish and Other Question in the Age of Empire,” Jewish Culture and History 6.1 (2009): 57. Our insights here draw predominantly on Michael Galchinksy’s illuminating discussion of the intersectional character of the Jewish Question in the nineteenth century.

12 Ibid. 47.

13 For the term shadow discourse see Suchoff, David, Kafka’s Jewish Languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 17.

14 Mufti, Aamir, Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

15 For more on world migrations and the impact these have had on postcolonial studies, see Quayson, Ato, “Introduction: Postcolonial Studies in a Changing Historical Frame,” in The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature, ed. Ato Quayson, Vol. 1. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 329, and “Africa and its Diverse Diasporas,” The Oxford Handbook to Postcolonial Studies, ed. Graham Huggan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 628–47.

16 Casteel, Sarah Philips, Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015).

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Introduction: Jewish Studies and Postcolonialism

  • Willi Goetschel (a1) and Ato Quayson (a1)

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