Barbara E. Mann’s important new book, Space and Place in Jewish Studies, persuasively argues for the value of space as a critical category for Jewish studies. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Mann’s contribution to the Key Words in Jewish Studies series from Rutgers University Press offers a rich and carefully historicized meditation on the relevance of contemporary spatial theory to Jewish cultural analysis. Mann’s book explores what space has to offer Jewish studies alongside other analytic categories—such as textuality, history, and memory—that have traditionally shaped the field. The answer, as her book makes clear, is a great deal.

In his essay “Exile and Expulsion in Jewish History,” Yosef Yerushalmi argued that we tend to understand Jewish historical experience in terms of exile and alienation while neglecting the extent to which it is also characterized by dwelling—by the domestication of exilic spaces and their conversion into domiciles....

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