|Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section|
The section sponsors a book series, Jewish Cultural Studies, published for the AFS by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, and edited by Simon J. Bronner. Dues-paying members of the section receive a copy of the books as a benefit of membership. The cost of membership is priced below the retail cost of individual volumes.
The purpose of the series is to present thematic volumes interpreting Jewish cultures ethnographically and historically around the globe, and exploring the idea of Jewish culture as it has been constructed, symbolized, produced, communicated, and consumed in diverse contexts. Themes of volumes will be interdisciplinary, drawing particularly on research in folklore studies, anthropology, cultural history, and sociology.
The series has an international editorial board, including:
Haya Bar-Itzhak, Haifa University, Israel
Previous volumes have included:
For more information contact:
Jewish Cultural Studies
Until 2000, the section previously published a journal Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review and newsletter Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Newsletter. These publications are available online in full-text through the HathiTrust Digital Library.
Requests for permission to reprint work from the publications of the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section should be directed to Simon Bronner. Please provide specifics about which material would be used, a description of the proposed outlet, and the place of the reprinted material in that outlet.
The current volume is Framing Jewish Culture: Boundaries and Representations (Jewish Cultural Studies, Volume 4, 420 pages
£21.95 / $34.95). This volume considers issues of boundaries and borders between Jews and non-Jews on a global scale, examining both the thinking behind the
rhetoric of boundaries and the manifestation of difference in social
life. Collectively, the contributors to this volume expand our
understanding of the social dynamics of framing Jewish identity. For more information, including the table of contents, see http://littman.co.uk/cat/jewishculturalstudies-4.html.
The Section sponsors the Raphael Patai Prize in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology through an endowed fund to honor an outstanding unpublished essay in Jewish folklore and ethnology by a student. The prize has an annual deadline of July 1. For more information contact the section convener Simon J. Bronner at firstname.lastname@example.org. The criteria for the award are:
The winner in 2013 was Kate A. Reyes for her
essay, "Demonology and Magic Ritual Texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” completed
at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
The paper was part of her Honours
dissertation under the supervision of Professor James R. Davila. Ms. Reyes
graduated with an MA in Biblical Studies and Hebrew. Honorable
mentions are awarded to Matthew Singer, doctoral candidate in American Studies
at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, for his essay "Folk Art from
the Peddler’s Bed: The Creative Legacy and Historic Context of Jewish Fraktur
Scriveners Justus Epstein and Martin Wetzler,” under the supervision of Professor
Simon J. Bronner and Tsila Zan-Bar Tsur, who recently received her Ph.D. in
folklore and traditional Jewish culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for
her essay "The Bathhouse and the Mikveh: Transformative Spaces in the Life of
Jewish Women in Afghanistan,” under the supervision of Professor Hagar Salamon.
The winners for 2011 were Magdalena Luszczynska (University College London) for "Father-Son Relationships in Medieval Ashkenaz" and Amy Milligan (Penn State Harrisburg) for "Wearing Many Hats: Head Covering Practices of Orthodox Jewish Women." (see vol. 4 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series).
The winner for 2009 was Jillian Gould (folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland) for "Shiva as a Creative Ritual in an Institutional Home” (see vol. 3 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series).
The winners for 2007 were Gabrielle Berlinger (folklore, Indiana University) for "770 Eastern Parkway: Brooklyn Brownstone, Sacred Space" (see vol. 2 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series) and Irit Koren (gender studies, Bar-Ilan University) for "The Power of Discourse: Issues of Gender and Social Control Regarding Changing the Jewish Wedding Ritual" (see vol. 3 of theJewish Cultural Studies Series).
The 2005 winner was Eve Jochnowitz of New York University for "Dining Out in Russian-Jewish New York." (see The Restaurant Book: Ethnographies of Where We Eat )
The 2004 winners were Elly Teman (cultural anthropology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) for "The Red String," a study of the visual symbolism of red strings worn by contemporary Jewish Israelis (see vol. 1 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series), and Roni Weinstein (Jewish history, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) for "Marriage Rituals Italian Style: A Historical Anthropological Perspective on Early Modern Italian Jews," a study of the distinctive Italian Jewish formation of a rite of passage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (see Marriage Rituals Italian Style, 2004).
Honorable Mentions were awarded in 2004 to Erica Lehrer (anthropology, University of Michigan) for "Repopulating Jewish Poland--In Wood," and Nina Spiegel (Jewish history and dance history, Stanford University) for "Cultural Formulation in Eretz Israel: The National Dance Competition of 1937."
For information on contributing to the endowment fund for the Raphael Patai Prize, please contact AFS Executive Director Timothy Lloyd.