The hyphenated phrase in our title, “Jewish-Muslim Crossings,” might seem surprising given that, according to institutional perspectives in U.S. and international politics, Jews and Muslims bear constitutively antagonistic religions and incommensurable identities. Certainly Jews and Muslims have crossed in the Americas, but the hyphen suggests something a little different, a crossing that is simultaneously a combining, or perhaps an encounter that is overdetermined by some prior encounter and mutual constitution. This special issue considers a literary and cultural history in the Americas of Jews and Muslims, two identities originating in Spain, Portugal, and the Middle East and North Africa, with complex stories of cohabitation and cultural overlaps. The post-1492, post-exilic re-formations of Jewish communities in the Muslim world as well as the Iberian and other European conceptions of Jewish-Muslim identities and crossings have all been exported, displaced, and re-signified in the Americas, with considerable literary, cultural, and political consequences, all...
Guest Editors’ Introduction
Dalia Kandiyoti is Associate Professor in the Department of English, College of Staten Island, City University of New York. She has published a book on diaspora literatures, identities, and theories entitled Migrant Sites: America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures (University Press of New England, 2009) and articles on Latina literature, transnational identities and gender, place in Holocaust writing, Sephardic history in literature, and the literature of the Americas. She is currently working on a book project about the returns and remains of Sefarad in contemporary literature.
Dean Franco is Professor and Associate Chair of English, and Director of Jewish Studies at Wake Forest University. His books include Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African American Writing (University of Virginia Press, 2007) and Race, Rights, and Recognition: Jewish American Literature Since 1969 (Cornell University Press, 2012). His articles on race, ethnicity, religion, and literature have been published in PMLA, NOVEL, Prooftexts, Contemporary Literature, and Modern Fiction Studies. He is currently writing a book on race and Los Angeles titled The Border and the Line.
Dalia Kandiyoti, Dean Franco; Guest Editors’ Introduction. Studies in American Jewish Literature (1981-) 1 March 2016; 35 (1): 2–12. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/studamerjewilite.35.1.0002
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