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Place in Modern Jewish Culture and Society$
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Richard I. Cohen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190912628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190912628.001.0001

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Ken Koltun-Fromm, Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015. 266 pp.

Ken Koltun-Fromm, Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015. 266 pp.

Chapter:
Ken Koltun-Fromm, Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015. 266 pp.
Source:
Place in Modern Jewish Culture and Society
Author(s):
Richard I. Cohen
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190912628.003.0024

This chapter reviews the book Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought (2015), by Ken Koltun-Fromm. Imagining Jewish Authenticity examines the ways in which texts and images interact in American Jewish culture to promote a vision of Jewish “authenticity,” while also highlighting the deep anxieties harbored by Jews with respect to their own identities. Koltun-Fromm argues that claims of authenticity are most perceptible in both the conscious and unconscious interface between text and image, which provides authors and artists with an outlet to make the contradictory claims at the root of neurotic conflict. He identifies three hotbeds of social and political tensions that have sat at the center of Jewish anxieties in the modern era: Jewish space, the Sabbath, and Jewish food. The book also explores “how Jews deploy language in texts to materialize authenticity in Jewish, gendered, and racial bodies.”

Keywords:   Text, image, Imagining Jewish Authenticity, Ken Koltun-Fromm, American Jewish culture, Jewish authenticity, Jews, Jewish space, Sabbath, Jewish food

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