New Perspectives on Jewish Cultural History: Boundaries, Experiences, and Sensemaking, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New Perspectives on Jewish Cultural History

Boundaries, Experiences, and Sensemaking, 1st Edition

Edited by Maja Gildin Zuckerman, Jakob Egholm Feldt


256 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367341244
pub: 2019-08-14
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This book presents original studies of how a cultural concept of Jewishness and a coherent Jewish history came to make sense in the experiences of people entangled in different historical situations. Instead of searching for the inconsistencies, discontinuities, or ruptures of dominant grand historical narratives of Jewish cultural history, this book unfolds situations and events, where Jewishness and a coherent Jewish history became useful, meaningful, and acted upon as a site of causal explanations. Inspired by classical American pragmatism and more recent French pragmatism, we present a new perspective on Jewish cultural history in which the experiences, problems, and actions of people are at the center of reconstructions of historical causalities and projections of future horizons. The book shows how boundaries between Jewish and non-Jewish are not a priori given but are instead repeatedly experienced in a variety of situations and then acted upon as matters of facts. In different ways and on different scales, these studies show how people's experiences of Jewishness perpetually probe, test, and shape the boundaries between what is Jewish and non-Jewish, and that these boundaries shape the spatiotemporal linkages that we call history.

Table of Contents

1. Experience, Space, and Time in Jewish Cultural History: A Pragmatist Perspective

Jakob Egholm Feldt and Maja Gildin Zuckerman

2. En Route to Palestine: Jewish Mobility and Zionist Emergence

Maja Gildin Zuckerman

3. The Death of the Renegade: On Jewish Experience in the 20th Century

Mirjam Zadoff

4. Tropical Territorialism: Displaced Persons, Colonialism, and the Freeland League in Suriname (1946-1948)

Laura Almagor

5. Autoethnographic Cosmopolitanism: Jewish Travel Writers Among Their Coreligionists

Michael Harbsmeier

6. The Presence of Past Struggles: The Jews and the Boundaries of Enlightenment

Jakob Egholm Feldt

7. "It Is Hellas and Israel to Which Europe Owes Its Culture:" Georg Brandes and His Athens vs. Jerusalem Re-interpretations

Søren Blak Hjortshøj

8. From Jewish Separateness to Jewish and Non-Jewish Entanglement: A Shift to a "New Jewish History"?

Klaus Hödl

9. To Walk in the Footsteps of Your Ancestors: Roots Tourism in Yiddishland

Karin Cohr Lützen

About the Editors

Maja Gildin Zuckerman is the Jim Joseph Postdoctoral Fellow at Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford University.

Jakob Egholm Feldt is Professor of Global History at Roskilde University, Denmark.

About the Series

Studies for the International Society for Cultural History

In both research and teaching, the study of cultural history is burgeoning, with a variety of interpretations of culture cross-fertilizing between disciplines – history, critical theory, literature and media, anthropology and ethnology, and many more. This series focuses on the study of conceptual, affective and imaginative worlds of the past, and sees culture as encompassing both textual production and social practice. It seeks to highlight historical and cultural processes of meaning-making and explore the ways in which people of the past made sense of their world.

Submissions are invited from established scholars and first-time authors alike. Prospective authors should send a detailed proposal with a rationale, chapter outlines and at least two sample chapters alongside a brief author’s biography and an anticipated submission date to:

Howard Chiang: hhchiang @

Christopher E Forth: cforth @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General