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Space and Place in Jewish Studies

Space and Place in Jewish Studies
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Scholars in the humanities have become increasingly interested in questions of how space is produced and perceived—and they have found that this consideration of human geography greatly enriches our understanding of cultural history. This “spatial turn” equally has the potential to revolutionize Jewish Studies, complicating familiar notions of Jews as “people of the Book,” displaced persons with only a common religious tradition and history to unite them.

Space and Place in Jewish Studies embraces these exciting critical developments by investigating what “space” has meant within Jewish culture and tradition—and how notions of “Jewish space,” diaspora, and home continue to resonate within contemporary discourse, bringing space to the foreground as a practical and analytical category. Barbara Mann takes us on a journey from medieval Levantine trade routes to the Eastern European shtetl to the streets of contemporary New York, introducing readers to the variety of ways in which Jews have historically formed communities and created a sense of place for themselves. Combining cutting-edge theory with rabbinics, anthropology, and literary analysis, Mann offers a fresh take on the Jewish experience.

Rutgers University Press; February 2012
213 pages; ISBN 9780813552125
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