Category Archives: Academic

R.I.P. Zygmunt Bauman

He’s not a literary author, but has been a enormous influence for critics and authors in the world of Anglo-Jewish writing (and far beyond–I just bought a book of his in Phoenix, AZ) that it is worth linking to him here.

Bauman Institute
Wikipedia Page (apparently there are issues with it.  Can you fix them?)  (Or tell me and I will make the chages.)

Al Jazeera
The Guardian
Washington Post
Times Higher Education
The Times
Jewish Telegraphic Agency


A Triumph of Dylanology

bob-dylan-in-tallisMy professor Bryan Cheyette aside from being a literary scholar is a Dylanologist.  In a personal sense, Dylan is a connection–when I first began to think about doing my doctorate, I spent several amazing times talking through ideas with Christopher Ricks, Dr. Cheyette names “Dylanologist-in-Chief.” After the topics that Dr. Ricks and I were discussing didn’t lead to an obvious PhD topic, I went home and came up with my current work, and now have the honour of working with the “Anglo-Jewish Literologist-in-Chief.” Read Dr. Cheyette’s essay on Dylan and his connection to Jewishness at the University of Reading, English at Reading blog.

A triumph of Dylanology


New Book: Three-Way Street: Jews, Germans, and the Transnational

three-way-streetReally interested in seeing this.

Jay Howard Geller and Leslie Morris, Editors

As German Jews emigrated in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and as exiles from Nazi Germany, they carried the traditions, culture, and particular prejudices of their home with them. At the same time, Germany—and Berlin in particular—attracted both secular and religious Jewish scholars from eastern Europe. They engaged in vital intellectual exchange with German Jewry, although their cultural and religious practices differed greatly, and they absorbed many cultural practices that they brought back to Warsaw or took with them to New York and Tel Aviv. After the Holocaust, German Jews and non-German Jews educated in Germany were forced to reevaluate their essential relationship with Germany and Germanness as well as their notions of Jewish life outside of Germany.

Among the first volumes to focus on German-Jewish transnationalism, this interdisciplinary collection spans the fields of history, literature, film, theater, architecture, philosophy, and theology as it examines the lives of significant emigrants. The individuals whose stories are reevaluated include German Jews Ernst Lubitsch, David Einhorn, and Gershom Scholem, the architect Fritz Nathan and filmmaker Helmar Lerski; and eastern European Jews David Bergelson, Der Nister, Jacob Katz, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Abraham Joshua Heschel—figures not normally associated with Germany. Three-Way Street addresses the gap in the scholarly literature as it opens up critical ways of approaching Jewish culture not only in Germany, but also in other locations, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

“A much-needed, original analytic approach that helps reframe conventional studies of German-Jewish history. Beyond merely comparing German-Jewish culture to Jewish culture elsewhere, it combines cutting-edge research with fresh readings of well-known works and sites viewed through an effective transnational lens. As a result, the book offers important new insight into German Jewish experiences through smart essays on a range of subjects including architecture, literature, film, photography, and history.”
—Lisa Silverman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Jay Howard Geller is Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies and Associate Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University.

Leslie Morris is Associate Professor of German at the University of Minnesota.


CFP: The Interface Between British Contemporary Black and Jewish Cultures

CFP for a Symposium, co-sponsored by the AHRC BJ:CC Network (Bangor University and the University of Winchester) and ‘Identities’ at the University of Reading, to be held at the University of Reading on 4th November, 2016:

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Interface Between British Contemporary Black and Jewish Cultures

Over the past three decades, a considerable body of work has emerged on the interface between Black and Jewish cultures in the United States. In contrast, there has been very little scholarship on Black-Jewish cultural relations in the context of the United Kingdom. To a certain extent, this disparity can be explained by the very different histories of Jewish and Black populations on either side of the Atlantic. The history of slavery, reconstruction, segregation and civil rights in the US has no direct analogy in the UK and the post-war cultural confidence and prominence of Jews in America contrasts conspicuously with the relative ambivalence, historically, of British Jews towards both their Jewishness and Britishness. Whilst recognizing the importance of these differences, however, there is much, in terms of the discourse that has developed around what Lori Harrison-Kahan has called the ‘Black-Jewish imaginary’ that could be appropriated, refined and revised in the British context. We would welcome proposals of no more than 300 words for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the interface between Black British and Jewish cultures widely defined, including but not restricted to, literature, film, television, art, digital media, photography, drama, dance and other forms of performance. Topics may include but need not be confined to the following:

  • the relationship between the ‘Black/Jewish imaginary’ in the US context and Black/Jewish cultural relations in the UK;
  • the influence of African American and Jewish American artists on their British counterparts;
  • the ways in which British Jewish culture has represented Black identities and vice versa;
  • issues of self-representation in Black British and British Jewish cultures;
  • the ways in which Black British and British Jewish cultures have interrogated questions of race, ethnicity and religion;
  • the ways in which Black British and British Jewish artists have been situated and positioned themselves in terms of discourses around ‘minorities’, ‘otherness’ and ‘whiteness’;
  • the ways in which Black British and British Jewish cultures have responded to the changing political, historical and economic contexts of the post-war period, particularly the activities of Far Right movements, debates over (im)migration, multiculturalism, identity politics, race relations, Apartheid-era South Africa and the Israel/Palestine conflict;
  • the similarities and differences between the ways in which contemporary Black British and Jewish cultures have represented the experience of the ‘Windrush’ generation of Black immigrants and that of post-war Jewish immigrants to the UK;
  • the ways in which twenty-first century Black and Jewish British cultures have responded to the presence of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism and xenophobia in contemporary society and discourse.

Please send your proposals to Prof. David Brauner (>), Prof. Nathan Abrams ( and Dr. Ruth Gilbert ( by 1st September 2016.

A buffet lunch will be provided.


Academic News for Jeremy (founder of this blog)

10421952_731492330252294_2585214107974415574_n_(2).jpgI am very excited to tell everyone I know that for the next year I will be Visiting Scholar at Boston University in The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies​.  These last two years have been a period of transition (never Van Morrison‘s best record), and this gives me a real chance to have an academic community close to where I live and the use of many of the facilities at BU.  Thank you, Michael Zank​ for the invitation.


The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British-Jewish Culture

The Promised Land: Utopia and Dystopia in Contemporary British-Jewish Culture.


All Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets

twitter_bird_logo_2012-svgAll Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets.

via All Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets.


All Possible Humanities Dissertations Considered as Single Tweets

Stephen Burt’s article in the New Yorker summarizing humanities dissertations as tweets.  I am not sure he has covered everything.  Would be good to hear others. For a start, I am not sure I see my topic here.


Doxastic logic – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Had to look the word up, now I am posting it here because surely this kind of logic comes up all the time talking about Jewish matters.


New Academic Webzine – Sonder magazine

logo1Sonder is an online journal of cultural criticism and creative writing, free for everyone. We publish critically informed, engaging writing on literature, art, architecture, drama, performance, music, film, languages, critical & cultural theory & more | Curated by students at The University of Manchester | t: @sondermagazine | f: sondermanchester |

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