Special Issue "Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970–2020"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This special issue belongs to the section "Literature in the Humanities".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Peter Lawson
Website
Guest Editor
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
Interests: Modern and Contemporary British-Jewish; European-Jewish and Holocaust Literature: poetry, drama and the novel

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For this Special Issue of Humanities, contributions are invited on the theme of Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970–2020. Submissions on poetry, drama and the novel are all welcome.

This Special Issue showcases the high quality and wide variety of contemporary British-Jewish writing, while setting it in the context of British diasporic literary production. Contributors are encouraged to address how ‘British-Jewish’ relates to ‘European-Jewish’ literature through such themes as refugees, immigrants, ‘semitic discourse’ (Bryan Cheyette’s term) and antisemitism, British ‘identity’ in Europe, Jewish ‘identity’ in Britain, the legacy of twentieth-century world wars and the Holocaust.

It is intended that essays will supplement existing editorial and critical texts on contemporary British-Jewish literature by such scholars as Bryan Cheyette (Contemporary Jewish Writing in Britain and Ireland (1998)), David Brauner (Post-War Jewish Fiction: Ambivalence, Self-Explanation and Transatlantic Connections (2001)) and Ruth Gilbert (Writing Jewish: Contemporary British-Jewish Literature (2013)). As the editor of a contemporary British-Jewish poetry anthology (Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945 (2001)), I particularly welcome submissions which address British-Jewish poetry. Essays on British-Jewish drama – which, like poetry, tends to attract less critical attention than novels – are similarly welcome. Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970-2020 will publish timely and original insights into this paradigmatically hybrid British-European literary genre.

Dr. Peter Lawson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Jewish
  • British
  • British-Jewish
  • European
  • European-Jewish
  • Holocaust
  • Literature
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Novel
  • Refugees
  • Immigrants
  • Semitic
  • Antisemitic
  • Identity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Between or Beyond? Jewish British Short Stories in English since the 1970s
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030110 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
Looking at short stories by writers as diverse as Brian Glanville, Ruth Fainlight, Clive Sinclair, Jonathan Wilson, James Lasdun, Gabriel Josipovici, Tamar Yellin, Michelene Wandor, and Naomi Alderman, and extending from the center of Jewish British writing to its margins, this article seeks [...] Read more.
Looking at short stories by writers as diverse as Brian Glanville, Ruth Fainlight, Clive Sinclair, Jonathan Wilson, James Lasdun, Gabriel Josipovici, Tamar Yellin, Michelene Wandor, and Naomi Alderman, and extending from the center of Jewish British writing to its margins, this article seeks to locate the defining feature of their ‘Jewish substratum’ in conditions particular to the Jewish post-war experience, and to trace its impact across their thematic plurality which, for the most part, transcends any specifically British concerns that may also emerge, opening up an Anglophone sphere of Jewish writing. More specifically, it is argued that the unease pervading so many Jewish British short stories since the 1970s is a product of, and response to, what may very broadly be described as the Jewish experience and the precarious circumstances of Jewish existence even after the Second World War and its cataclysmic impact. It is suggested that it is prompted in particular by the persistence of the Holocaust and the anxieties the historical event continues to produce; by the confrontation with competing patterns of identification, with antisemitism, and with Israel; and by anxieties of non-belonging, of fragmentation, of dislocation, and of dissolution. Turned into literary tropes, these experiences provide the basis of a Jewish substratum whose articulation is facilitated by the expansion of Jewish British writers into the space of Anglophone Jewish writing. As a result, the Jewish British short story emerges as a multifaceted and hybrid project in continuous progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970–2020)
Open AccessArticle
Rachel Lichtenstein’s Narrative Mosaics
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030088 - 21 Aug 2020
Abstract
Rachel Lichtenstein’s books, along with her multimedia art, represent her explorations of her British Jewish identity and her place in British Jewish culture as an imaginative odyssey. Her work represents research, stories, and traces from London’s Jewish past and multicultural present as well [...] Read more.
Rachel Lichtenstein’s books, along with her multimedia art, represent her explorations of her British Jewish identity and her place in British Jewish culture as an imaginative odyssey. Her work represents research, stories, and traces from London’s Jewish past and multicultural present as well as from Poland and Israel, her family’s accounts, and the testimony of recent immigrants and long-time residents. Lichtenstein is a place writer whose artistic projects subject her relationship to the Jewish past and East End to critical interrogation through a metaphorical method composed of fragments that represent varied segments of Jewish history and memory as well as wandering as a narrative of personal exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970–2020)
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Open AccessArticle
How Jewish Refugee Critics Changed British Literary Criticism, 1970–2020
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030080 - 14 Aug 2020
Abstract
During the mid- and late 20th century, a small group of Jewish refugee critics changed the way British culture thought about what kind of literature mattered and why. These outsiders went on to have an enormous impact on late 20th-century British literary culture. [...] Read more.
During the mid- and late 20th century, a small group of Jewish refugee critics changed the way British culture thought about what kind of literature mattered and why. These outsiders went on to have an enormous impact on late 20th-century British literary culture. What was this impact? Why in the last third of the 20th century? Why did British literary culture become so much more receptive to critics like George Steiner, Gabriel Josipovici, Martin Esslin and SS Prawer and to a new canon of continental Jewish writers? The obstacles to Jewish refugee critics were formidable. Yet their work on writers like Kafka, Brecht and Paul Celan, and thinkers like Heidegger and Lukacs had a huge impact. They also broke the post-war silence about the Holocaust and moved the Jewish Bibl from the margins of English-speaking culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary British-Jewish Literature, 1970–2020)
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