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Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books
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New Books in Jewish Studies Marshall Poe

    • Religion und Spiritualität
    • 3.0 • 3 Bewertungen

Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/jewish-studies

    Edward B. Westermann, "Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Edward B. Westermann, "Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    The title of Edward Westermann's new book, Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany (Cornell University Press, published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2021), suggests that it is about the use of alcohol by perpetrators of the Holocaust. And it is. Westermann documents extensively how alcohol served to bind perpetrators together and to help them celebrate, conduct and perhaps forget mass murder. The amount of alcohol consumed as part of the German war is astonishing.
    But Westermann's book is broader than its title suggests. At the heart of Westermann's examination is the way in which commonly held understandings of masculinity fueled violence--symbolic, sexual and physical.  He explores the way hypermasculinity led to soldiers to humiliate Jews and other victims as a way of feminizing them. He examines the extensive trophy-taking practiced by Germans in the East. He outlines how widespread sexual violence was. And more.
    Westermann uses a wide variety of primary sources ranging from photos to diaries to interviews to understand the behaviors and beliefs of perpetrators. It is a remarkably challenging book to read. But it is a necessary one.
    Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University.
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    • 1 Std. 12 Min.
    Hugh McLeod and Todd Weir, "Defending the Faith: Global Histories of Apologetics and Politics in the Twentieth Century" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Hugh McLeod and Todd Weir, "Defending the Faith: Global Histories of Apologetics and Politics in the Twentieth Century" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Todd H. Weir and Hugh McLeod, two leading historians of religion, have teamed up to edit a volume in the Proceedings of the British Academy that explores how conflicts between secular worldviews and religions shaped the history of the 20th century. With contributions considering case studies relating to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, atheism and communism, and from several continents, Defending the Faith: Global Histories of Apologetics and Politics in the Twentieth Century (Oxford UP, 2020) offers to re-shape the conceptual tools by which the history of religious politics and politicised religion will be shaped. What happens to the history of the "short 20th century" when the concept of apologetics is put at its centre? We discover that politics and religion are categories that overlap, and that actors in disputes between religions, and in disputes between religions and political entities, are constantly learning from each other.
    Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 39 Min.
    Natalia Aleksiun, "Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust" (Liverpool UP, 2021)

    Natalia Aleksiun, "Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust" (Liverpool UP, 2021)

    Thoroughly researched, Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust (Liverpool UP, 2021) highlights the historical scholarship that is one of the lasting legacies of interwar Polish Jewry and analyses its political and social context. As Jewish citizens struggled to assert their place in a newly independent Poland, a dedicated group of Jewish scholars fascinated by history devoted themselves to creating a sense of Polish Jewish belonging while also fighting for their rights as an ethnic minority. The political climate made it hard for these men and women to pursue an academic career; instead they had to continue their efforts to create and disseminate Polish Jewish history by teaching outside the university and publishing in scholarly and popular journals. By introducing the Jewish public to a pantheon of historical heroes to celebrate and anniversaries to commemorate, they sought to forge a community aware of its past, its cultural heritage, and its achievements---though no less important were their efforts to counter the increased hostility towards Jews in the public discourse of the day. In highlighting the role of public intellectuals and the social role of scholars and historical scholarship, this study adds a new dimension to the understanding of the Polish Jewish world in the interwar period.
    Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College New York. She published Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 and co-edited two volumes of Polin examining Holocaust memory and Jewish historiography. She has recently published a critical edition of The Destruction of Żółkiew Jews by Gershon Taffet. She is preparing a volume of Polin devoted to Jewish childhoods, children and child rearing in Eastern Europe. She is also completing two books on Jewish medical students in East Central Europe and on daily life in hiding in Eastern Galicia. She is coeditor in chief of East European Jewish Affairs.
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    • 1 Std. 3 Min.
    Katarzyna Person, "Warsaw Ghetto Police: The Jewish Order Service During the Nazi Occupation" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Katarzyna Person, "Warsaw Ghetto Police: The Jewish Order Service During the Nazi Occupation" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    In Warsaw Ghetto Police: The Jewish Order Service during the Nazi Occupation (Cornell University Press/US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2021) , Katarzyna Person shines a spotlight on the lawyers, engineers, young yeshiva graduates, and sons of connected businessmen who, in the autumn of 1940, joined the newly formed Jewish Order Service.
    Person tracks the everyday life of policemen as their involvement with the horrors of ghetto life gradually increased. Facing and engaging with brutality, corruption, and the degradation and humiliation of their own people, these policemen found it virtually impossible to exercise individual agency. While some saw the Jewish police as fellow victims, others viewed them as a more dangerous threat than the German occupation authorities; both were held responsible for the destruction of a historically important and thriving community. Person emphasizes the complexity of the situation, the policemen's place in the network of social life in the ghetto, and the difficulty behind the choices that they made. By placing the actions of the Jewish Order Service in historical context, she explores both the decisions that its members were forced to make and the consequences of those actions.
    Featuring testimonies of members of the Jewish Order Service, and of others who could see them as they themselves could not, Warsaw Ghetto Police brings these impossible situations to life. It also demonstrates how a community chooses to remember those whose allegiances did not seem clear.
    Katarzyna Person is a historian specialising in the history of the Holocaust and its aftermath in occupied Poland, working in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. She is the author of Assimilated Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto (Syracuse University Press, 2014). 
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    • 56 Min.
    Zev Eleff, "Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life" (Wayne State UP, 2020)

    Zev Eleff, "Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life" (Wayne State UP, 2020)

    Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life (Wayne State University Press, 2020), by Zev Eleff, challenges the current historical paradigm in the study of Orthodox Judaism and other tradition-bound faith communities in the United States. Paying attention to "lived religion," the book moves beyond sermons and synagogues and examines the webs of experiences mediated by any number of American cultural forces. Eleff lucidly explores Orthodox Judaism's engagement with Jewish law, youth culture and gender, and how this religious group has been affected by its indigenous context. To do this, the book makes ample use of archives and other previously unpublished primary sources.
    Eleff explores the curious history of Passover peanut oil and the folkways and foodways that battled in this culinary arena to both justify and rebuff the validity of this healthier substitute for other fatty ingredients. He looks at the Yeshiva University quiz team's fifteen minutes of fame on the nationally televised College Bowl program and the unprecedented pride of young people and youth culture in the burgeoning Modern Orthodox movement. Another chapter focuses on the advent of women's prayer groups as an alternative to other synagogue experiences in Orthodox life and the vociferous opposition it received on the grounds that it was motivated by "heretical" religious and social movements. Whereas past monographs and articles argue that these communities have moved right toward a conservative brand of faith, Eleff posits that Orthodox Judaism-like other like-minded religious enclaves-ought to be studied in their American religious contexts.
    The microhistories examined in Authentically Orthodox are some of the most exciting and understudied moments in American Jewish life and will hold the interest of scholars and students of American Jewish history and religion.
    Zev Eleff is chief academic officer of Hebrew Theological College and associate professor of Jewish History at Touro College.
    Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.
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    • 1 Std. 1 Min.
    Devi Mays, "Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora" (Stanford UP, 2020)

    Devi Mays, "Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora" (Stanford UP, 2020)

    Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora (Stanford University Press, 2020) is a history of migration and nation-building from the vantage point of those who lived between states. Author Devi Mays traces the histories of Ottoman Sephardi Jews who emigrated to the Americas—and especially to Mexico—in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the complex relationships they maintained to legal documentation as they migrated and settled into new homes. Mays considers the shifting notions of belonging, nationality, and citizenship through the stories of individual women, men, and families who navigated these transitions in their everyday lives, as well as through the paperwork they carried. These Ottoman Sephardi migrants resisted unequivocal classification as either Ottoman expatriates or Mexicans through their links to the Sephardi diaspora in formerly Ottoman lands, France, Cuba, and the United States. By making use of commercial and familial networks, Sephardi migrants maintained a geographic and social mobility that challenged the physical borders of the state and the conceptual boundaries of the nation.
    Devi Mays is Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her first book, Forging Ties, Forging Passports, won a 2020 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Sephardic Culture.
    Makena Mezistrano is the Assistant Director of the Sephardic Studies Program in the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. She holds an MA in Biblical and Talmudic studies from Yeshiva University.
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    • 1 Std. 25 Min.

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