MELUS

A journal concentrating on multi-ethnic American literature for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 37, No. 2, Summer

Do American and Ethnic American Studies Have a Jewish Problem; or, When Is an Ethnic Not an Ethnic, and What Should We Do about It?
Many years ago, while serving as an acting chair of the University of Michigan's American Studies program, I was presented with a conundrum that might have tried the wisdom of Solomon. Our program possessed an ethnic studies requirement for its undergraduate...
Guest Editors' Introduction: Finding Home: The Future of Jewish American Literary Studies
It is widely recognized that Jewish writers were leading figures in American literature in the twentieth century. They were so influential in the 1950s and 1960s, for example, that John Updike remarked that the stories in Bech: A Book (1970) concerned...
Innovation and Orthodox Comic Books: The Case of Mahrwood Press
How should we interpret the transnational economy of comic books produced and published by American Israelis in Israel that are distributed by American Jewish publishers in the United States? When such comic books earn haskamot--letters of approbation...
Performing Jewishness in and out of the Classroom
As performance studies scholars and feminist teachers, we have long used embodied learning to help students apply the concepts we address in class. But in the "Jewish Identity and Performance in the U.S." undergraduate seminar we taught together at...
Response to Jonathan Freedman
It is mightily refreshing to bypass the usual hand-wringing about the relationship between "American" and "ethnic" studies that has characterized so many ponderous conference sessions in recent years. Just a decade ago, David Goldstein-Shirley titled...
Response to Jonathan Freedman
Jonathan Freedman's "Do American and Ethnic Studies Have a Jewish Problem; or, When Is an Ethnic Not an Ethnic, and What Should We Do about It?" highlights the degree to which Jewish American studies has fallen outside the purview of American studies...
Russian Jews as American Writers: A New Paradigm for Jewish Multiculturalism?
Since the mid-1970s more than 1.5 million Russian-speaking Jews have left the Soviet Union and its successor states. Some of them have become writers in the languages of their host countries, and in doing so they have helped to create a new global...
Sephardism and Marranism in Native American Fiction of the Quincentenary
So then, after having expelled all the Jews from all your kingdoms and domains, in the same month of January, Your Highnesses commanded me to take sufficient ships and sail to the said regions of India. And in consideration you granted me great favours...
Symposium: Jewishness, Pedagogy, and Multi-Ethnic Literature
For this special issue of MELUS, we asked four scholars to reflect briefly on their experiences of integrating the study of Jews and Jewishness into ethnic and American literature classes. In the responses that follow, they address pedagogical strategies...
Teaching Jewish Literature in the South: A Conversation
One of the defining features of American Jewish literature as an academic subfield, as compared to other literary specialties, is how regularly it is taught by scholars who have not trained or published in the area. To explore the implications of this...
The Holocaust for Beginners: Yankev Glatshteyn's Emil Un Karl and Other Wartime Works for Young American Yiddish Readers
Once a topic thought inappropriate for children, the Holocaust is now presented to them in a proliferation of undertakings: state-mandated educational programs beginning in elementary school, special exhibitions for young visitors in Holocaust museums,...
"Who Put the Shma in Shmattas?" Multilingual Jewish American Writing
"Who put the shma in shmattas?" (1) This flippant question runs through the guilt-ridden mind of young Ira Stigman in Henry Roth's novel A Diving Rock on the Hudson (1995) as he leaves the room of a prostitute in Harlem (135). Author of the classic...
Writing Immigrant Aid: The Settlement House and the Problem of Representation
Historians have chronicled the importance of the settlement house to the development of public health, social work, and governmental welfare, but literary critics have been slow to acknowledge that the institution had a significant impact on American...