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AFS Review: Calls for Submissions

CFP: Jewish Cultural Studies Series

Friday, March 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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The following is a call for abstracts for two volumes to be published in the Jewish Cultural Studies Series, sponsored by the AFS Jewish and Ethnology Section and published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Oxford, UK. 

The Dilemma of Jewish Heritage: Studies in the Construction and Consumption of the Past in the Present

Edited by: Magdalena Waligórska (University of Bremen, Germany) and Simon J. Bronner (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

The dilemma of Jewish heritage explored by various writers in this volume is the construction and consumption of the Jewish past in the present.  Although the Jewish predicament is not unique among minority groups in heritage studies in the face of identity and community issues within mass society, there are distinctive aspects because of the diasporic characteristic of Jewish experience in relation to so-called "host” countries and their multicultural populations in different locales of the world. The editors invite papers that focus on the choices, strategies, and outcomes in various contexts as individuals, institutions, and communities define "Jewish heritage” for different audiences.  The editors also seek to interpret the often politicized discourse centering on "heritage” by comparing its usage in Jewish settings compared to  "history,” "society,” "art,” and "culture.”  Possible areas of investigation include, but are not limited to, the function of Jewish museums as Jewish community centers and nationalistic organizations; representation of Jewish culture on stage in festivals of Jewish arts; special issues in the adaptation of intangible cultural heritage in preservation and performance; cultural work in the production of heritage merchandise; curating by Jews and non-Jews in museums and their consequences; strategies of Jewish heritage education in public and parochial schools; the effects of "going public” by Jewish organizations as part of multicultural programming and "marker” projects; issues of Jewish heritage awareness programs such as Birthright Israel and March of the Living; negotiation of Jewish heritage in student organizations such as Hillel and summer camp programs.  

Submission Guidelines: Send a 200-400 word abstract of your proposed essay before July 1, 2016, to Simon J. Bronner at Queries are also welcome and can be directed to Professor Bronner. The editors will choose 15 proposals from this pool and invite submission of English essays (6,000-8,000 words) from authors before January 2017. 

Jewish Spirituality in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Vanessa L. Ochs (University of Virginia, USA) and Simon J. Bronner (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

Since the late twentieth century, a significant number of practices and communities have emerged to foster Jewish spirituality. Observing these developments, Vanessa L. Ochs has written that "the lived creative struggle to arrange life—one’s own, or that of others, inside and around an inherited religious tradition, done artfully or artlessly, done continuously or in fits and starts—is slowly finding its way, into scholarly discourse” (Nashim, 2005). This volume proposes to advance that interdisciplinary discourse with attention to emergent contemporary Jewish spiritual practices and communities within various global communities. The editors are particularly interested in interpretative studies of these new practices and communities in response to synchronic forces of modern society and culture and the diachronic continuity of Jewish history and religion. Examples of movements for which the editors seek essays include but are not limited to partnership minyanim, new liturgies and prayerbooks, post-denominational communities, neo-Hasidism, Jewish farming and eco-Kosher projects, outreach to interfaith families, "Jewish-style” weddings for interfaith couples, new definitions of Kashrut, Amen meals, concerts as spiritual events, the Queer yeshiva, new tikkun olam strategies, new Passover practices/haggadot, popularization of piyyutim, museum "invitationals” (outreach to artists and aimed at the creation of new ritual objects), Limmud projects worldwide, hybrid Judaism/Eastern religion practices, and Jewish travel and pilgrimage.

Submission Guidelines: 
Send a 300-400 word abstract of your proposed essay including a description of evidence, approach, and thesis before July 1, 2016, to The editors will choose 15 proposals from this pool and invite submission of 6,000-8,000 words from authors before January 2017.

About the Publisher and Series: 
The award-winning Littman Library is recognized as a leader in Jewish Studies. Since 1965, Littman's academic books have been selected for their outstanding scholarship, objectivity, and new insights. The Jewish Cultural Studies series offers a contemporary view of Jewish culture as it has been constructed, symbolized, produced, communicated, and consumed around the globe. Illustrated volumes in the series are over 300 pages in paperback editions and are priced to be accessible to individual scholars and students. For more information on the Littman series, see

About the Editors: Vanessa Ochs is professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and is the author of  Inventing Jewish Ritual, winner of the 2007 National Jewish Book Award, ad co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Simon J. Bronner is distinguished university professor at Penn State University, and editor for the Jewish Cultural Studies series for Littman.

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