Going to the People

Going to the People : Jews and the Ethnographic Impulse

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Taking S. An-sky's expeditions to the Pale of Jewish Settlement as its point of departure, the volume explores the dynamic and many-sided nature of ethnographic knowledge and the long and complex history of the production and consumption of Jewish folk traditions. These essays by historians, anthropologists, musicologists, and folklorists showcase some of the finest research in the field. They reveal how the collection, analysis, and preservation of ethnography intersect with questions about the construction and delineation of community, the preservation of Jewishness, the meaning of belief, the significance of retrieving cultural heritage, the politics of accessing and memorializing "lost" cultures, and the problem of narration, among other topics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 364 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 29g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 7 b&w illus.
  • 0253019087
  • 9780253019080

Table of contents

Introduction \ Jeffrey Veidlinger
Part I. History of the Ethnographic Impulse
1. Thrice Born, or Between Two Worlds: Reflexivity and Performance in An-sky's Jewish Ethnographic Expedition and Beyond \ Nathaniel Deutsch
2. Between Scientific and Political: Jewish Scholars and Russian-Jewish Physical Anthropology in the Fin-de-Siecle Russian Empire\ Marina Mogilner
3. To Study Our Past, Make Sense of Our Present and Develop Our National Consciousness:" Lev Shternberg's Comprehensive Program for Jewish Ethnography in the USSR \ Sergei Kan
4. "What Should We Collect?": Ethnography, Local Studies, and the Formation of a Belorussian Jewish Identity \ Elissa Bemporad
5. Yiddish Folklore and Soviet Ideology during the 1930s \ Mikhail Krutikov
6. After An-sky: I.M. Pul'ner and the Jewish Section of the State Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad \ Deborah Yalen
7. "Holy Sacred Collection Work": The Relationship between YIVO and its Zamlers \ Sarah Ellen Zarrow
8. The Last "Zamlers": Avrom Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski in Vilna, 1944-1945 \ David E. Fishman
Part II. Findings from the Field
9. Ethnography and Folklore among Polish Jews in Israel--Immigration and Integration \ Haya Bar-Itzhak
10. The Use of Hebrew and Yiddish in the Rituals of Contemporary Jewry of Bukovina and Bessarabia \ Alexandra Polyan
11. Food and Faith in the Soviet Shtetl \ Jeffrey Veidlinger
12. Undzer Rebenyu: Religion, Memory, and Identity in Postwar Moldova \ Sebastian Z. Schulman
Part III. Reflections on the Ethnographic Impulse
13. Ex-Soviet Jews: Collective Autoethnography \ Larisa Fialkova and Maria Yelenevskaya
14. Family Pictures at an Exhibition: History, Autobiography, and the Museum Exhibit on Jewish od "In Mrs. Goldberg's Kitchen" \ Halina Goldberg
15. Seamed Stockings and Ponytails: Conducting Ethnographic Fieldwork in a Contemporary Hasidic Community \ Asya Vaisman Schulman
Part IV. By Way of Conclusion
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Review quote

Overall, Going to the People proves itself a useful addition to scholarship on Jewish folklore and ethnography by introducing major issues in these fi elds, as well as the historical figures and contemporary scholars who have shaped (and continue to shape) their development. * Western Folklore * This book's essays portray the various threads and trends in Jewish ethnography in Poland and Soviet Russia, the US, the new Jewish State of Israel and, eventually, in postcommunist societies. The endurance and evolution of Jewish folk culture is analyzed using techniques applicable to all groups and communities. . . . Recommended. * Choice *
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About Jeffrey Veidlinger

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine (IUP), Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire (IUP), and The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage (IUP).
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