Jews today, it seems, are no longer recognizable to themselves in those terms by which they have been historically known, as figures of exile, of victimization, or of the “other,” because they are arguably no longer marginal or vulnerable. What happens to the advantages of Jewish marginality (to borrow an apt phrase coined by Iris Parush in her discussion of nineteenth-century East European Jewish women) when Jews become subjects and not objects, the arbiters of culture instead of its victims?

Eloquently articulated by Shai Ginsburg, Martin Land, and Jonathan Boyarin in their introduction to Jews and the Ends of Theory (Fordham 2019), these questions and observations are weighed in terms of the historical role of Jews in generating critical theory and serving as theoretical tropes. The editors position their volume historically and discursively in conjunction with, “the growing unease in current theoretical debates in light of the perceived incongruity between...

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