In this powerful and wide-ranging study, Sander Gilman explores the idea of 'the multicultural' in the contemporary world, a question he frames as the question of the relationship between Jews and Muslims. How do Jews define themselves, and how are they in turn defined, within the global struggles of the moment, struggles that turn in large part around a secularized Christian perspective?
Gilman uses his subject to unpack a sequence of important issues: what does it mean to be multicultural? Can the experience of diaspora Judaism serve as a useful model for Islam in today's multicultural Europe? What is a multicultural ethnic? Other chapters look at specific figures in Jewish cultural history – Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Israel Zangwill, Philip Roth, the hermaphrodite N.O. Body (aka Karl Baer, raised as Martha Baer) – to explore issues within Jewish identity. Throughout, Gilman pays keen attention to the ways in which contemporary literature – Chabon, Ozick, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart – taking the idea of Jewishness and multiculturalism into new arenas.
1. Can the Experiences of Diaspora Judaism Serve as a Model for Islam in Today's Multicultural Europe? 2. Jews and the Culture of Decorum in Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment Germany? 3. Jews and the Constitution of the Multicultural Ethnic 4. Jews, Multiculturalism, and Israel Zangwill's "Melting Pot" 5. Franz Kafka's Diet: An Answer to Hybridity 6. Albert Einstein's Violin: Jews, Music, and the Performance of Identity 7. Whose Body is It Anyway? Hermaphradites, Gays, and Jews in N.O. Body's Germany 8. The Fanatic: Philip Roth and Hanif Kureishi Confront Success 9. "We're Not Jews": Imaging Jewish History and Jewish Bodies in Contemporary Non-Jewish Multicultural Literature 10. Are Jews Multicultural Enough? Late Twentieth-and Early Twenty-First-Century Literary Multiculturalism as Seen from Jewish Perspectives 11. Points of Conflict: Cultural Values in "Green" and "Racial" Anti-Semitism