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Jewish Studies as CounterlifeA Report to the Academy$
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Adam Zachary Newton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823283958

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823283958.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Jewish Studies as Lever

Jewish Studies as Lever

(p.35) Chapter 1 Jewish Studies as Lever
Jewish Studies as Counterlife

Adam Zachary Newton

Fordham University Press

After a compressed history of modern JS centering on the figure of Gershom Scholem (no mean metaphorist himself), this first of two linked chapters adds to the initial figuration of Jewish Studies (counterlife, report, adhesion, four questions, satire) a further constellation of images pertaining to location and movement/force: the boundary, ruins, the city, the lever. In parallel with the sequence of figures is a polyphony of carefully curated voices whose reverberant and interdiscursive effect offers one paradigm, in the context of JS, for a more dialogically inflected humanities. Both this chapter and the succeeding one endeavor to think the project of Jewish Studies adventurously, by considering genres over and above disciplines, emergent rather than settled questions. In thus reframing some of the field’s organizing assumptions, my particular interest is to “work the frame” itself: to mobilize borders, to set forth inside relative to outside “as a problem,” and, in echo of the ever-insistent answerabiliy Bakhtin assigns to art, to pursue the latent interrogativity of JS.

Keywords:   Derrida, lever, Mochlos, readings, ruins, Scholem, university

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