The history of jewish American literary history: A critical genealogy of emergence

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article takes the cliché of Jewish American literary breakthrough in the late 1950s as an opportunity to examine the perverse professional legibility of the Jewish American literary field: everyone knows about it, but few scholars outside the field take it seriously according to the reigning canons of scholarly importance. If early critics of the Jewish American literary field celebrated this emergence, its ethic of assimilation was starkly at odds with an increasingly influential multiculturalism, even as these critics relied on an implicit multicultural logic in justifying the field. A critical exploration of this paradox—and a critical genealogy of how the field got to this point—shows how the marginalization of Jewish American literary study in the contemporary academy reveals an important story about the origin and development of a currently dominant concept of identity in the humanities, even as it reveals how the Jewish American literary field continues to operate in the shadow of this cliché.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-150
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Literature
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Literary Field
History
Genealogy
American Literary History
1950s
Literary Studies
Multiculturalism
Legibility
Logic
Marginalization
Canon

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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abstract = "This article takes the clich{\'e} of Jewish American literary breakthrough in the late 1950s as an opportunity to examine the perverse professional legibility of the Jewish American literary field: everyone knows about it, but few scholars outside the field take it seriously according to the reigning canons of scholarly importance. If early critics of the Jewish American literary field celebrated this emergence, its ethic of assimilation was starkly at odds with an increasingly influential multiculturalism, even as these critics relied on an implicit multicultural logic in justifying the field. A critical exploration of this paradox—and a critical genealogy of how the field got to this point—shows how the marginalization of Jewish American literary study in the contemporary academy reveals an important story about the origin and development of a currently dominant concept of identity in the humanities, even as it reveals how the Jewish American literary field continues to operate in the shadow of this clich{\'e}.",
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The history of jewish American literary history : A critical genealogy of emergence. / Schreier, Benjamin Jared.

In: American Literature, Vol. 91, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 121-150.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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