Difference of a Different Kind: Jewish Constructions of Race During the Long Eighteenth Century

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Judaism, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion on 2015-09-21 01:01Z by Steven

Difference of a Different Kind: Jewish Constructions of Race During the Long Eighteenth Century

University of Pennsylvania Press
280 pages
6 x 9
12 illus.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8122-4609-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8122-0970-9

Iris Idelson-Shein, Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow
Martin Buber Professur für Jüdische Religionsphilosophie
Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

European Jews, argues Iris Idelson-Shein, occupied a particular place in the development of modern racial discourse during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Simultaneously inhabitants and outsiders in Europe, considered both foreign and familiar, Jews adopted a complex perspective on otherness and race. Often themselves the objects of anthropological scrutiny, they internalized, adapted, and revised the emerging discourse of racial difference to meet their own ends.

Difference of a Different Kind explores Jewish perceptions and representations of otherness during the formative period in the history of racial thought. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including philosophical and scientific works, halakhic literature, and folktales, Idelson-Shein unfolds the myriad ways in which eighteenth-century Jews imagined the “exotic Other” and how the evolving discourse of racial difference played into the construction of their own identities. Difference of a Different Kind offers an invaluable view into the ways new religious, cultural, and racial identities were imagined and formed at the outset of modernity.

Table of Contents

  • Note on Translations and Transliterations
  • Introduction
  • 1. An East Indian Encounter: Rape and Infanticide in the Memoirs of Glikl Bas Leib
  • 2. “And Let him Speak”: Noble and Ignoble Savages in Yehudah Horowitz’s Amudey beyt Yehudah
  • 3. Whitewashing Jewish Darkness: Baruch Lindau and the “Species” of Man
  • 4. Fantasies of Acculturation: Campe’s Savages in the Service of the Haskalah
  • Epilogue. A Terrible Tale: Some Final Thoughts on Jews and Race
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments
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