CFP: [Religion] ACLA 2009: Transcultural Jewishness: The Jew in Diasporic and Postcolonial Literature and Theory

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Glaser
contact email: 

ACLA 2009 Convention
March 26-29, 2009
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Transcultural Jewishness: The Jew in Diasporic and Postcolonial Literature
and Theory

Co-chairs: Sarah Phillips Casteel and Jennifer Glaser

Following Paul Gilroy's and Jonathan Boyarin's early calls for a dialogue
between Jewish studies and postcolonial studies as well as Bryan Cheyette's
important work on Jewishness and race, scholars have begun to situate
Jewishness in interethnic contexts that move beyond the standard
articulations of black/Jewish relations.

Building on this work and charting new paths of inquiry, this panel will
explore literary representations of Jewishness in a transcultural and
comparative framework. We will move away from the study of single ethnic
groups in isolation in order to develop more contextual, dynamic, and
cross-cultural models of literary analysis such as that recently advanced
in Jonathan Freedman's Klezmer America. The panel will consider Jewishness
and its "other Others" in both U.S. and non-U.S. settings including Canada
and Britain as well as other national and transnational contexts.

We invite proposals that respond to the problematic outlined above and/or
consider one or more of the following questions:

· why is Jewishness a popular trope in contemporary writing by non-Jewish
diasporic and postcolonial authors such as Zadie Smith and Caryl Phillips?

· how can Jewishness be brought more fully into discussions of
multicultural and postcolonial literatures? what are the challenges and
tensions surrounding such a move?

· what are the alternatives to dominant articulations of Jewishness's
relationship to other ethnic minorities such as discussions of black/Jewish
relations in the United States?

· what institutional and disciplinary histories and politics have shaped
Jewish studies' relationship to fields such as ethnic studies,
multicultural studies, and postcolonial studies?

**Important note: All paper proposals must be submitted on the ACLA
conference website, located at Just select
the "Transcultural Jewishness" seminar from the menu accessible from this
page and your abstract will go directly to the conference organizer. **

If you have any questions prior to submitting your abstract, please don't
hesitate to contact the seminar co-chairs, Jennifer Glaser
( and Sarah Phillips Casteel

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Received on Wed Sep 10 2008 - 11:43:43 EDT