Sephardi Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List
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Association for Jewish Studies Sephardi/Mizrahi Studies Caucus Discussion List

Editor/Moderator: Aviva Ben-Ur <aben-ur(at)judnea(dot)umass(dot)edu>

Week of Sunday, January 28, 2007 (9 Shevat 5767)


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1. Two New Articles on Contemporary Crypto-Jews (Brooks)

2. Judaica Catalog Available: Over 200 Titles in Sephardic & Mizrachi History & Thought (Wyman)

3.  Call for Proposals for AJS 2007 Panel on Crypto-Jews (Cohen)

4.  Call for Papers: Jews at Home—The Domestication of Identity (Bronner)


1. Two New Articles on Contemporary Crypto-Jews (Brooks)

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 11:44:00 -0500

From: Andree Brooks <andreebrooks(at)hotmail(dot)com>

   Anyone following the contemporary issues surrounding the conversos in Central and South America, as well as in the United States, might be interested in exploring a somewhat controversial article of mine that appeared in _Hadassah_ magazine in December; reprinted in World Jewish Digest in January. Both are available online or by sending me an email.

   It summarizes the difficulties and setbacks facing these people, who prefer to be called b'nei anousim, during their current attempts to join the mainstream Jewish world, which is not very easy. Much is reminiscent of the past periods in Jewish history when there were waves of such returnees -- specifically in Amsterdam in the 17th century and the Ottoman Empire in the 16-17 centuries. It has become agony for many.

 Andrée Aelion Brooks

 15 Hitchcock Road

 Westport, CT 06880

 Ph: 203-226-9834

 Fax: 203-226-0814

 Email: andreebrooks(at)hotmail(dot)com



 [ed: slight edit]


2. Judaica Catalog Available: Over 200 Titles in Sephardic & Mizrachi History & Thought

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 08:36:31 -0500

From: [BOOKLIST(at)SHAMASH(dot)ORG] on behalf of Dan Wyman Books

via: Rachel Simon <rsimon(at)Princeton(dot)EDU>

We have just published online our latest catalog:

_From Golden Age to Golden Medina: Over 200 Titles in Sephardic & Mizrachi History & Thought_

 We have included a number of periodical runs, as well as quality titles in bibliography, rabbinics, community history, and other areas. Highlights include Menasse ben Israel's first bible, from 1630, a beautiful copy in tooled calfskin.

 Please view the catalog online at

 Please see other recent Judaica catalogs online at

 This Sephardica catalog is based on the catalog we previewed at the Association for Jewish Studies conference in San Diego in December, but includes additional material at the beginning and end.

 As always, we look forward to your order.


Dan Wyman

Dan Wyman Books, Inc.

47 Dartmouth St. Springfield, MA 01109 USA

Dan(at)DanWymanBooks(dot)com ph: 413.846.6357

[ed: slight edit]


3.  Call for Proposals for AJS 2007 Panel on Crypto-Jews (Cohen)

Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 10:37:14 -0500

From: Judith Cohen <judithc(at)yorku(dot)ca>

Since the Association for Jewish Studies is meeting in my home city, Toronto, this year,  I have a  number of ideas  for panels, which I would be interested in setting up

 - the perception of "Ladino songs" in scholarly and popular contexts

 - Jewish music in imagined "medieval" festivals: this could be specifically Sephardic-related or compared with similar events in Central and Eastern Europe (These two could be related or even combined)

 My own work over the past several years has focused on both these  questions, and as well I've been doing a lot of fieldwork with  Portuguese Crypto-Jews and would be interested to see whether there were interest in a panel relating to Crypto-Jewish studies, both in Portugal and elsewhere, addressing issues such as, again, popular  views and mythology and day-to-day reality.

 If anyone's interested, please contact me! thanks, Judith


 416 5332666 / 416 2726410

[ed: slight edit]


4.  Call for Papers: Jews at Home—The Domestication of Identity (Bronner)

Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 22:39:08 -0500

From: Simon Bronner <sbronner(at)PSU(dot)EDU>

via: H-ETHNIC(at)H-NET(dot)MSU(dot)EDU

 Call For Papers: Jews At Home—The Domestication Of Identity

 Second volume in book series on Jewish Cultural Studies, edited by Simon J. Bronner, Distinguished University Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

 Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Oxford, UK (

 Format and Guidelines: 8,000-12,000 word essays in English, prepared electronically in Word (in-text citations with reference list). Photographs in TIF format (min. 300 dpi).

 Deadline: March 15, 2007

 Contact: Professor Simon J. Bronner, School of Humanities, The Pennsylvania State University, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057-4898, USA, sbronner(at)psu(dot)edu

 Papers are sought that explore how Jews conceptualize and culturally materialize spaces, and ideas of home. The editorial board is especially looking for interpretations of private selves and collectives of Jews constructing a Jewishness distinctive from that expressed in the synagogue and street. The volume addresses issues of domestication that is both imposed from the outside because of societal repression of Jewishness, and that which is displayed and invented to announce, differentiate, and renew Jewish identity. For example, contributions can open critical inquiry into display and use of Judaica in homes, secular performances of Jewishness in the home, private constructions and performances of Jewishness in repressive situations, symbolism of the Syrian Jewish housefront in mixed ethnic Jewish areas, adjustment of urban dwellings for Hasidic families, symbolism of holiday celebrations at home, emergence of the Jewish  practice of kosher in the home and non-kosher outside the home, differences in ethnic home decoration, home dress, and socialization pattern in different Jewish cultures.

 The purpose of the series is to present thematic volumes interpreting Jewish cultures ethnographically and historically around the globe, and exploring the idea of Jewish culture as it has been constructed, symbolized, produced, communicated, and consumed in diverse contexts. Themes of volumes will be interdisciplinary, drawing particularly on research in folklore studies, anthropology, cultural history, and sociology. Volumes typically contain ten to twelve essays of 8-12,000 words anchored by an introduction addressing the theme, and a section (usually 3 or 4 essays) called New Views of original research on Jewish cultural studies not on the theme. See Unlike most publications in Jewish studies, the Jewish cultural studies series will be exploring secular as well as religious spheres, and the intersections of the two, with attention to the diversity of traditions and customs in the Jewish world. For more information, and a list of editorial board members, see

Simon J. Bronner, Ph.D.

Coordinator, American Studies Program

Distinguished University Professor of American Studies

   and Folklore

Director, Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies

The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

777 West Harrisburg Pike

Middletown, PA 17057-4898

717-948-6039 (o)

717-948-6724 (fax)


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