CFP: American Judaism (Germany) (3/15/07; DGfA, 5/31/07-6/3/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Bettina Hofmann

CFP: workshop on "American Judaism" at the DGfA (Germany) 07 (3/15/07;

This workshop on "American Judaism" will take place within the Annual
Meeting of the German Association for American Studies (DGFA) whose
topic this year is "Religion." The conference will take place in
Dortmund/Bochum, Germany, from May 31st to June 3, 2007.

Jewish identity has always encompassed both ethnic as well as religious
components. While the field of American Studies has largely focussed on
ethnicity as an analytic category for the study of U.S. Jewry, we would
like to encourage a closer look at the religious factor in American
Jewish identity, Judaism as an American religion, their expressions in
literature, and a general reflection on religious identity in the United

For the first time in modern history, the United States of America
offered Judaism the opportunity to flourish as an equally respected
religion. The United States not only offered strict separation of church
and state and the non-establishment clause in its Bill of Rights, but
also provided a special platform for Judaism to identify with the nation
through a civil religion, which was uniquely accessible for Jews and
allowed them to bridge the tension between maintaining a special group
identity while becoming "Americans". In this context the American
setting has become home to a unique spectrum of Jewish religious
practice, ranging from ultra-orthodox communities to the Reform movement
and Reconstructionism, and embracing an associational life from
traditional burial societies to 'home-grown' phenomena such as 'New Age'
Jewish renewal movements. Religious freedom and a commitment to the
liberty of conscience have found expression in different cultural venues
and forms of religious observance, including interfaith dialogue,
synagogue architecture, literary reflections of the new religious
setting, and a distinctive feminism.

We welcome papers that will explore a wide variety of aspects of Judaism
in the United States and reflect on the role of Judaism in the wider
context of American religious life and analyze religious aspects in
American Jewish literature. Papers with an interdisciplinary,
trans-national, or comparative approach are especially encouraged.

Please submit abstracts of proposals and work-in-progress by March 15,
2007 to

Bettina Hofmann, University of Wuppertal,
and Cornelia Wilhelm, Rutgers University and University of Munich (LMU),

All presenters must be members of the German Association for American
Studies (DGFA) at the time of their presentation

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Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 13:11:52 EST