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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 467g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 7 b&w illus.
  • 0253019141
  • 9780253019141
  • 1,448,637

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).show more

Review quote

"In the post-Cold War era, Jewish ethnography, from historical to contemporary times, has attracted growing scholarly interest. This volume brings together some of the most innovative research in the field, and will be of interest to an interdisciplinary group of scholars in Jewish studies, Russian and East European history and culture, as well as global history, anthropology, folklore, and musicology." -Eugene Avrutin, author of Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expeditions "I read through this collection with pleasure and fascination. Ethnography is newly of interest to many scholars of Jewish studies, and I am confident that this volume will find an appreciative audience. Indeed the variety here powerfully conveys how many people are interested in ethnography both as a method and as the subject of their analysis. These are valuable voices that should be heard." -Gabriella Safran, Stanford University "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." -Choiceshow more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction \ Jeffrey VeidlingerPart I. History of the Ethnographic Impulse1. Thrice Born, or Between Two Worlds: Reflexivity and Performance in An-sky's Jewish Ethnographic Expedition and Beyond \ Nathaniel Deutsch2. Between Scientific and Political: Jewish Scholars and Russian-Jewish Physical Anthropology in the Fin-de-Siecle Russian Empire\ Marina Mogilner3. 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 Kan4. "What Should We Collect?": Ethnography, Local Studies, and the Formation of a Belorussian Jewish Identity \ Elissa Bemporad5. Yiddish Folklore and Soviet Ideology during the 1930s \ Mikhail Krutikov6. After An-sky: I.M. Pul'ner and the Jewish Section of the State Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad \ Deborah Yalen7. "Holy Sacred Collection Work": The Relationship between YIVO and its Zamlers \ Sarah Ellen Zarrow8. The Last "Zamlers": Avrom Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski in Vilna, 1944-1945 \ David E. FishmanPart II. Findings from the Field9. Ethnography and Folklore among Polish Jews in Israel--Immigration and Integration \ Haya Bar-Itzhak10. The Use of Hebrew and Yiddish in the Rituals of Contemporary Jewry of Bukovina and Bessarabia \ Alexandra Polyan11. Food and Faith in the Soviet Shtetl \ Jeffrey Veidlinger12. Undzer Rebenyu: Religion, Memory, and Identity in Postwar Moldova \ Sebastian Z. SchulmanPart III. Reflections on the Ethnographic Impulse13. Ex-Soviet Jews: Collective Autoethnography \ Larisa Fialkova and Maria Yelenevskaya14. Family Pictures at an Exhibition: History, Autobiography, and the Museum Exhibit on Jewish od "In Mrs. Goldberg's Kitchen" \ Halina Goldberg15. Seamed Stockings and Ponytails: Conducting Ethnographic Fieldwork in a Contemporary Hasidic Community \ Asya Vaisman SchulmanPart IV. By Way of Conclusion1show more