New Books, Journals and Resources
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New British Jewish Web Platform
With the intention of creating new conversations and opportunities to publish in the UK Jewish media to promote books and other creative work or to respond to an issue currently exists, we are looking to set up a new an online public-facing “non-academic” forum, for academics, intellectuals, creatives, and others to disseminate their work more widely, contribute to contemporary debates, respond to issues in a timely fashion, and maybe it could become a news service. It would be agile, responsive, not subject to the demands of print or deadlines, and snappy with short pieces (max. 1,000 words) but with room for longer, reflective, or more in-depth discussions such as investigative pieces but always written with a broad audience in mind.
The platform proposes to provide a means to get our ideas and voices to a wider audience than the standard academic publication. Nation.cymru or TheConversation.com serve as templates, as democratic, pluralistic outlets both of which crowdsource their material to provide a quicker response time to issues than a print and/or quarterly publication. Further, without depending on a funder, we are free to cover what we want to cover especially around Israel. This is experimental, we are working out what it might be and might be called but would you be willing to write something? When thinking about what to write, the rule of thumb should be: what could I not get accepted for publication in an existing British Jewish community or academic publication? In order to produce a proof of concept with some minimum viable product.
To this end, we invite responses, whether written or creative (no more than 1,000 words but the shorter and snappier the better) to one or both of the following questions: 1. What will British Jewish culture look like after the pandemic? 2. How has the pandemic affected how we think about British Jewish culture?
The deadline is June 30th. Feel free to circulate to your networks.
Nathan Abrams (email@example.com)
Open Access: Two books on Jewish Education
On behalf of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis, I’m pleased to share that Beyond Jewish Identity (2019) and Advancing the Learning Agenda in Jewish Education (2018) have now gone “open access,” which is to say, are now available for free download:
Please share with any colleagues who might be interested. These links go to the Brandeis Institutional Repository pages for each of the two books, from which you can get to the files themselves. It would be helpful to us if you would share those links rather than sharing the PDF themselves, so that we can track visits and downloads.
Jon A. Levisohn
Brill Announces Two Transformative Open Access Agreements
UKB, the Dutch consortium of university libraries, the English library consortia JISC/SHEDL, and the international scholarly publisher Brill have reached Transformative Agreements for the years 2020 and 2021.
The agreements provide reading access to Brill’s journal portfolio to Dutch researchers at 9 institutions, UK researchers at 26 institutions, and allows for unlimited Open Access publishing in all Brill journals for scholars associated with those institutions. Brill’s journal portfolio consists of more than 330 hybrid and fully Open Access titles in the Humanities, Social Sciences, International Law, and Biology. Articles which have already been published in 2020 will be made Open Access retroactively.
Brill is one of the leading independent publishers in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a broad OA portfolio consisting of more than 400 OA books and several thousand OA journal articles.
Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis:
The Evangelical Alexander McCaul and Jewish-Christian Debate in the Nineteenth Century
by David B. Ruderman
University of Pennsylvania Press
Cloth | $55.00
In Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis, David B. Ruderman considers the life and works of prominent evangelical missionary Alexander McCaul (1799–1863), who was sent to Warsaw by the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity Amongst the Jews. He and his family resided there for nearly a decade, which afforded him the opportunity to become a scholar of Hebrew and rabbinic texts. Returning to England, he quickly rose up through the ranks of missionaries to become a leading figure and educator in the organisation and eventually a professor of post-biblical studies at Kings College, London. In 1837, McCaul published The Old Paths, a powerful critique of rabbinic Judaism that, once translated into Hebrew and other languages, provoked controversy among Jews and Christians alike.
Missionaries, Converts, and Rabbis reconstructs a broad transnational conversation between Christians, Jews, and those in between, opening a new vista for understanding Jewish and Christian thought and the entanglements between the two faith communities that persist in the modern era. Extending the geographical and chronological reach of his previous books, Ruderman continues his exploration of the impact of Jewish-Christian relations on Jewish self-reflection and the phenomenon of mingled identities in early modern and modern Europe.
David B. Ruderman is the Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Pennsylvania
Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History
by Jane S. Gerber
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
May 2020, Hardback, pp. 332, 9781904113300, £34.95
The history of Sephardi Jewry is examined here through a wide-ranging study of its cultural achievements, offering an unrivalled overview of centuries of Sephardi creativity in such cities as Amsterdam, Istanbul, Safed, Salonica, and Venice. Contemporary travellers’ accounts, sermons, and correspondence all contribute to creating a vivid picture of dynamism and cultural flourishing.
Echoes of a Lost Voice
Encounters with Primo Levi
by Gabriella Poli and Giorgio Calcagno
Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell
March 2020 384 pages
Paperback: 978 1 910383 46 9 £20.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 45 2 £50.00
This excellent book reveals a man of insatiable curiosity, daunting industry and unillusioned lucidity of expression and thought. We discover or rediscover a great writer and great human being. This was a man. Anthony Rudolf, author of Primo Levi: At an Uncertain Hour
Echoes of a Lost Voice is a rich reconstruction of Primo Levi’s life as a writer and public figure, woven around a patchwork of his interviews and lectures. The book captures all the humane intelligence of Levi’s voice, its quiet forcefulness, its wit, and its vivid interest in science, language, work and much more.’ Robert Gordon, Cambridge University, author of Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues
This is a fascinating compilation of Primo Levi’s views on a host of biographical, political and Holocaust-related topics. Levi’s thoughts on his own writings after If This is a Man, as well as the developing culture of Holocaust commemoration, will give scholars and readers familiar with his work a new perspective on his life and art. Sue Vice, Professor of English Literature, University of Sheffield
[A]n invaluable resource for Levi scholars as well as a fascinating read for anyone exploring his reflections on the Holocaust, writing, science, Judaism, and many other topics. … While Echoes is an indispensable resource for Levi scholars, it is accessible to anyone who wishes to spend more time with this great man’s words. Elizabeth S. Scheiber, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Echoes of a Lost Voice is the fruit of thirty years of friendship between the journalist Gabriella Poli and Primo Levi. Gabriella composed the book not only from all the interviews and conversations recorded with him throughout his career, which she retrieved even from the most obscure places, but above all from her own private conversations with him, held over several years prior to his death in 1987. She published Echi di una voce perduta only five years later, making it one of the earliest accounts of the writer and his work.
In the 30 years since then there have been several biographies and thousands of books and articles about Levi. This one is unique, partly in its privileged access to him, and partly because of its unusual form: by using Levi’s own words about himself almost exclusively, it becomes a kind of ghosted autobiography.
Primo Levi – chemist, Italian, Jew, survivor of Auschwitz – was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His masterpiece, If This Is a Man, is still one of the most widely read books on the Holocaust today. Echoes of a Lost Voice wastranslated into English for the first time to mark the 30th anniversary of Levi’s death.
Why Race Still Matters
by Alana Lentin
UK: April 2020 / US: June 2020 | 256 pages | Paperback 9781509535712 | £14.99 / $19.95
‘Why are you making this about race?’ This question is repeated daily in public and in the media. Calling someone racist in these times of mounting white supremacy seems to be a worse insult than racism itself. In our supposedly post-racial society, surely it’s time to stop talking about race?
This powerful refutation is a call to notice not just when and how race still matters but when, how and why it is said not to matter. Race critical scholar Alana Lentin argues that society is in urgent need of developing the skills of racial literacy, by jettisoning the idea that race is something and unveiling what race does as a key technology of modern rule, hidden in plain sight. Weaving together international examples, she eviscerates misconceptions such as reverse racism and the newfound acceptability of ‘race realism’, bursts the ‘I’m not racist, but’ justification, complicates the common criticisms of identity politics and warns against using concerns about antisemitism as a proxy for antiracism.
Dominant voices in society suggest we are talking too much about race. Lentin shows why we actually need to talk about it more and how in doing so we can act to make it matter less.
Get 20% off* with promo code POL20 when you order the paperback at https://politybooks.com/bookdetail/?isbn=9781509535705
*discount valid until 31/08/2020
Is it OK to Laugh About it?
Holocaust Humour, Satire and Parody in Israeli Culture
by Dr. Liat Steir-Livny, Sapir Academic College, Israel
Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell
April 2020 200 pages
Paperback: 978 1 910383 49 0 £20.00
Ebook: 978 1 910383 36 0 £50.00
[A]n excellent analysis of Israeli culture and its approach to humor. Steir-Livny’s writing style is scholarly, but her book will appeal to general readers who are interested in the subject matter. What she offers is a glimpse of Israeli society many Americans have never encountered. Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter
[U]seful for a wide range of scholars within humour and laughter research, but also more generally culture, history, art, sociology, psychology, and others. Alyona Ivanova, European Journal of Humour Research
Holocaust humour, satire, and parody are sensitive and complex issues. For many years, Israeli culture recoiled from dealing with the Holocaust from a humorous or satirical perspective. The perception was that a humorous approach might threaten the sanctity of its memory, or evoke feelings of disrespect towards the subject and hurt Holocaust survivors’ feelings. Official agents of Holocaust memory continue to follow this approach. But, from the 1990s, a new unofficial path of commemoration has been taking shape. Texts that combine the Holocaust with humour, satire and parody are a major aspect of it, but this remains controversial. Often, Holocaust humour is perceived as part of a dangerous process that normalizes Nazism and Hitler.
In opposition to these ideas, Steir-Livny claims that in Israel, a unique post-traumatic society where the trauma lives as an integral part of the present, Holocaust humour in Hebrew functions as an important defence mechanism. The book argues that Holocaust humour, satire, and parody rebel against the way this trauma affects Israeli society in the present by challenging and deconstructing the fear. The book shows that paradoxically, Holocaust humour also strengthens the dominance of the trauma in the present by inserting it even more into everyday life and popular culture. Thus, Holocaust humour, satire, and parody in Israel are a double-edged sword: on the one hand, they function as an attempt to fight the acting out of the trauma in Israeli society but, on the other, they strengthen certain elements of it. This is a contradictory process of dissociation and assimilation occurring at the same time, which attests to the dominance of the trauma in the Jewish-Israelis’ identity.
This is the first comprehensive research on contemporary Holocaust humour in Israel. The innovative and intriguing analysis challenges the borders of Holocaust research and commemoration.
Ebooks from the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
We’re pleased to announce that we are now offering 50% off all of our ebooks, including ebooks for recently released titles, including: Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History by Jane S. Gerber, Religious Truth edited by Alon Goshen-Gottstein, and Rabbi, Mystic, or Impostor? by Michal Oron. By doing this we hope to help enable those at home to gain access to content instantly with our online reader.
You can use this discount by entering EBOOKLUP at checkout.
We are also committed to supporting the academic community and facilitating online learning during this difficult time and, as such, have extended institutional free trials of our ebook collection, the Littman E-Library, to 60 days and are offering libraries a 50% discount on this collection until 30 June 2020.
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NEW PUBLICATION: Special Issue of Religions “The Return of Religious Antisemitism?”
by Gunther Jikeli
Special issue of Religions
The Return of Religious Antisemitism?
In eight papers, we explore the question if there is a return of religious antisemitism.
Please find more information and the open-source papers here.