Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism

Overview

Twelve distinguished historians, political theorists, and literary critics present new perspectives on multiculturalism in this important collection. Central to the essays (all but one is appearing in print for the first time) is the question of how the Jewish experience can challenge the conventional polar opposition between a majority "white monoculture" and a marginalized "minorities of color multiculture." This book takes issue with such a dichotomy by showing how experiences of American Jews can undo ...
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Overview

Twelve distinguished historians, political theorists, and literary critics present new perspectives on multiculturalism in this important collection. Central to the essays (all but one is appearing in print for the first time) is the question of how the Jewish experience can challenge the conventional polar opposition between a majority "white monoculture" and a marginalized "minorities of color multiculture." This book takes issue with such a dichotomy by showing how experiences of American Jews can undo conventional categories. Neither a complaint against multiculturalism by Jews who feel excluded from it, nor a celebration of multiculturalism as the solution to contemporary Jewish problems, Insider/Outsider explores how the Jews' anomalous status opens up multicultural history in different and interesting directions. The goal of the editors has been to transc the notion of "comparative victimology" and to show the value of a narrative that does not rely on competing histories of persecution. Readers can discover in these essays arguments that will broaden their understanding of Jewish identity and multicultural theory and will enliven the contemporary debate about American culture generally.

Author Biography: David Biale is Professor of Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Michael Galchinsky is Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Susannah Heschel is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Case Western University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520211087
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

David Biale is Professor of Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Michael Galchinsky is Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Susannah Heschel is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at Case Western University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Dialectic of Jewish Enlightenment 1
1 The Melting Pot and Beyond: Jews and the Politics of American Identity 17
2 In Defense of Shaatnez: A Politics for Jews in a Multicultural America 34
3 Pluralism and Its Discontents: The Case of Blacks and Jews 55
4 Multiculturalism and the Politics of Interest 88
5 Jewish Studies as Counterhistory 101
6 The Paradox of Jewish Studies in the New Academy 116
7 The Double Canonicity of the Hebrew Bible 131
8 The Idea of Judaism in Feminism and Afrocentrism 150
9 Scattered Seeds: A Dialogue of Diasporas 185
10 Language as Homeland in Jewish-American Literature 212
11 Modernism and Exile: A View from the Margins 231
12 Fag-Hags and Bu-Jews: Toward a Jewish Politics of Vicarious Identity 254
Notes on Contributors 269
Index 273
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