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Hasidic Judaism in American literature

Hasidic Judaism in American literature
Hasidic Judaism in American literature
This thesis brings together literary texts that portray Hasidic Judaism in Jewish-American literature, predominantly of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although other scholars may have studied Rabbi Nachman, I.B. Singer, Chaim Potok and Pearl Abraham individually, no one has combined their works and examined the depiction of Hasidism through the codes and conventions of different literary genres. Additionally, my research on Judy Brown and Frieda Vizel raises urgent questions about the gendered foundations of Hasidism that are largely elided in the earlier texts. The thesis demonstrates how each text has engaged with Hasidic identity, thought, customs, laws, values and communities in its own particular way, creating tensions between the different literary interpretations. Furthermore, the thesis is structured chronologically and contributes to a cultural historical understanding of a people that has been threatened by modernity, nearly annihilated by the Nazis and uprooted from their motherlands in order to survive, and in fact thrive, in the United States. This historical development is described in the various texts used in this thesis, which belong to different genres from the short story, to the novel, to online Life writing. My research has been truly interdisciplinary, which is reflected in the use of different methodologies belonging to different academic fields such as history, sociology, anthropology, theology, Western esotericism and literary studies.
van Loenen, Eva
fed6487b-a2ae-4ecd-b29e-0a42e295c7c9
van Loenen, Eva
fed6487b-a2ae-4ecd-b29e-0a42e295c7c9
Jordan, James
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Baum, Devorah
d24ec600-e518-4122-acbe-2bfb5d3dcb26
Morton, Stephen
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(2015) Hasidic Judaism in American literature. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 218pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis brings together literary texts that portray Hasidic Judaism in Jewish-American literature, predominantly of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although other scholars may have studied Rabbi Nachman, I.B. Singer, Chaim Potok and Pearl Abraham individually, no one has combined their works and examined the depiction of Hasidism through the codes and conventions of different literary genres. Additionally, my research on Judy Brown and Frieda Vizel raises urgent questions about the gendered foundations of Hasidism that are largely elided in the earlier texts. The thesis demonstrates how each text has engaged with Hasidic identity, thought, customs, laws, values and communities in its own particular way, creating tensions between the different literary interpretations. Furthermore, the thesis is structured chronologically and contributes to a cultural historical understanding of a people that has been threatened by modernity, nearly annihilated by the Nazis and uprooted from their motherlands in order to survive, and in fact thrive, in the United States. This historical development is described in the various texts used in this thesis, which belong to different genres from the short story, to the novel, to online Life writing. My research has been truly interdisciplinary, which is reflected in the use of different methodologies belonging to different academic fields such as history, sociology, anthropology, theology, Western esotericism and literary studies.

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More information

Published date: December 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, English

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 396728
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396728
PURE UUID: cf3ba20b-c607-4164-8ac1-0a66d98b2138

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Jul 2016 14:02
Last modified: 23 Jun 2019 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Eva van Loenen
Thesis advisor: James Jordan
Thesis advisor: Devorah Baum
Thesis advisor: Stephen Morton

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