Posts in Religious Studies
New Open Access Book: "Exemplary Bodies: Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture, 1880s to 2008"

Now Available on ASP Open

Exemplary Bodies
Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture, 1880s to 2008

HENRIETTA MONDRY

Exemplary Bodies: Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture, 1880s to 2008 explores the construction of the Jew’s physical and ontological body in Russian culture as represented in literature, film, and non-literary texts from the 1880s to the present. With the rise of the dominance of biological and racialist discourse in the 1880s, the depiction of Jewish characters in Russian literary and cultural productions underwent a significant change, as these cultural practices recast the Jew not only as an archetypal “exotic” and religious or class Other (as in Romanticism and realist writing), but as a biological Other whose acts, deeds, and thoughts were determined by racial differences. This Jew allegedly had physical and psychological characteristics that were genetically determined and that could not be changed by education, acculturation, conversion to Christianity, or change of social status. This stereotype has become a stable archetype that continues to operate in contemporary Russian society and culture.

Review: A Coat of Many Colors: Dress Culture in the Young State of Israel

A Coat of Many Colors: Dress Culture in the Young State of Israel by Anat Helman was reviewed in Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. 29, A Club of Their Own: Jewish Humorists and the Contemporary World, ed. Eli Lederhendler and Gabriel Finder (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

...fascinating developments loom large in Anat Helman’s deeply researched and thoughtful account, which draws on a wealth of sources, from popular periodicals such as Haishah and Lagever to the minutes of kibbutz meetings and the anguished letters sent to the Ministry of Rationing and Supply ... Supported by this lively material, Helman’s work highlights one of the most important, yet barely studied, ways in which clothing ... furnished the new state with a bonanza of sartorial possibilities.
— Jenna Weissman Joselit (George Washington University)