In most disciplines, hybrid Jewish identities are discussed as “Jewish (hyphen)other.” This hyphen has often come to signify a minus sign, implying a loss or crisis of identity with negative connotations of fragmentation, fracture, and rupture. While this certainly constitutes one side of the experience, it fails to account for the potential for regeneration and creation inherent to the notion of hybridity. What is perceived as a destructive force that tears apart an intact concept of identity simultaneously produces something new; collapse compels creation. This moment signifies a truly hybrid identity, transforming the “Jewish(minus)other” into a “Jewish(plus)other.” “Jewish(plus)other,” however, fails to encompass the complexity of a truly hybrid Jewish identity. Inspired by what Philip Roth called the “and/and/and/and/and of possibilities” of Jewish identity, “Jewish(plus)many” seems to us to be the most adequate terminology describing this phenomenon. This notion appears to be at the heart of many narratives of hybrid Jewish identities, and is further complicated when a new generation takes ownership of these ideas.
We are interested in a comparative perspective exploring both the destructive and constructive aspects of the formation of hybrid Jewish identities. For this panel, we invite scholars from all disciplines to develop an interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue with us. We strive to explore the ways in which other fields approach these questions and inform one another.
Please submit a 250 word paper proposal until November 1st, 2011 on the American Comparative Literature Association's website at: http://www.acla.org/submit/index.php
The conference will take March 29th - April 1st, 2012.
Read more about the submission guidelines here: http://www.acla.org/annualmeetingguidelines.html
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