A Time to Gather
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A Time to Gather : Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture

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Description

How do people link the past to the present, marking continuity in the face of the fundamental discontinuities of history? A Time to Gather argues that historical records took on potent value in modern Jewish life as both sources of history and anchors of memory because archives presented one way of transmitting Jewish culture and history from one generation to another as well as making claims of access to an "authentic" Jewish culture. Indeed,
both before the Holocaust and in its aftermath, Jewish leaders around the world felt a shared imperative to muster the forces and resources of Jewish life and culture. It was a "time to gather," a feverish era of collecting and conflict in which archive making was both a response to the ruptures of modernity and a
mechanism for communities to express their cultural hegemony.

Jason Lustig explores these themes across the arc of the twentieth century by excavating three distinctive archival traditions, that of the Cairo Genizah (and its transfer to Cambridge in the 1890s), folkloristic efforts like those of YIVO, and the Gesamtarchiv der deutschen Juden (Central or Total Archive of the German Jews) formed in Berlin in 1905. Lustig presents archive-making as an organizing principle of twentieth-century Jewish culture, as a metaphor of great power and broad symbolic
meaning with the dispersion and gathering of documents falling in the context of the Jews' long diasporic history. In this light, creating archives was just as much about the future as it was about the past.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 156 x 235mm
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019756352X
  • 9780197563526

About Jason Lustig

Jason Lustig is a Lecturer and Israel Institute Teaching Fellow at the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the host and creator of the Jewish History Matters podcast. He was previously a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard University's Center for Jewish Studies and a Gerald Westheimer Early Career Fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute.
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