Jewish cosmopolitanism is key to understanding both modern globalization, and the old and new nationalism. Jewish cultures existing in the Western world during the last two centuries have been and continue to be read as hyphenated phenomena within a specific national context, such as German-Jewish or American-Jewish culture. Yet to what extent do such nationalized constructs of Jewish culture and identity still dominate Jewish self-expressions, and the discourses about them, in the rapidly globalizing world of the twenty-first century? In a world in which Diaspora societies have begun to reshape themselves as part of a super- or nonnational identity, what has happened to a cosmopolitan Jewish identity?
In a post-Zionist world, where one of the newest and most substantial Diaspora communities is that of Israelis, in the new globalized culture, is “being Jewish” suddenly something that can reach beyond the older models of Diasporic integration or nationalism? Which new paradigms of Jewish self-location, within the evolving and conflicting global discourses, about the nation, race, Genocides, anti-Semitism, colonialism and postcolonialism, gender and sexual identities does the globalization of Jewish cultures open up? To what extent might transnational notions of Jewishness, such as European-Jewish identity, create new discursive margins and centers? Is there a possibility that a “virtual makom (Jewish space)” might constitute itself? Recent studies on cosmopolitanism cite the Jewish experience as a key to the very notion of the movement of people for good or for ill as well as for the resurgence of modern nationalism. These theories reflect newer models of postcolonialism and transnationalism in regard to global Jewish cultures.
The present volume spans the widest reading of Jewish cosmopolitisms to study “Jews on the move.”
This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Review of History.
Table of Contents
Part I. Jews in modern cosmopolitanist thought
1. Cosmopolitanism and the critique of antisemitism: two faces of universality Robert D. Fine
2. Aliens vs. predators: cosmopolitan Jews vs. Jewish nomads Sander L. Gilman
Part II. Jews and cosmopolitanism in interwar Germany
3. Revolutions, wars and the Jewish and Christian contribution to redemptive cosmopolitanism in Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Wayne Cristaudo
4. Hotel patriots or permanent strangers? Joseph Roth and the Jews of inter-war Central Europe Ilse Josepha Lazaroms
Part III. Jews, cosmopolitanism and political thought
5. Marxism, cosmopolitanism and ‘the’ Jews Philip Spencer
6. New futures, new pasts: Horace M. Kallen and the contribution of Jewishness to the future Jakob Egholm Feldt
7. Rootless cosmopolitans: German-Jewish writers confront the Stalinist and National Socialist atrocities Cathy S. Gelbin
Part IV. Jews and the new cosmopolitanism
8. Inviting essential outsiders in: imagining a cosmopolitan nation Claire Sutherland
9. ‘Cosmopolitan from above’: a Jewish experience in Hong Kong Xun Zhou
10. The possibilities and pitfalls of a Jewish cosmopolitanism: reading Natan Sznaider through Russian-Jewish writer Olga Grjasnowa’s German-language novel Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (All Russians Love Birch Trees) Stuart Taberner
11. Cosmopolitan Europeans? Jewish public intellectuals in Germany and Austria and the idea of ‘Europe’ Anita Bunyan
12. Drifting towards Cosmopolis Ruth Novaczek
13. Maximalism as a Cosmopolitan strategy in the art of Ruth Novaczek and Doug Fishbone Rachel S. Garfield
Cathy S. Gelbin is a Senior Lecturer in Film and German Studies at Manchester University, UK. She specializes in modern German-Jewish culture, including intellectual history, literature and film.
Sander L. Gilman is a Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University, Georgia, USA. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of well over ninety books.