CFP,  Special issue on Jews in South Africa, Jewish Historical Studies

First published in 1893, the journal Jewish Historical Studies aims “to serve as a leading forum for Anglo-Jewish historiography, as well as comparative and multi-site work that integrates English-speaking Jews.”

Even as we continue to encourage and solicit research focused on the Jewish past in pre-modern and modern England, the new editorial team embrace a broader vision for the journal. This entails devoting attention to other Jewish communities with which Anglo-Jewry shares intimate historical ties – South Africa, Canada, Australia, the United States, and the English-speaking Caribbean – as well as to the interconnections between them.

As part of this repositioning of the journal, we are planning a special issue in 2023 focused on the historical experience of Jews in South Africa.

While there exists a nucleus of critical, nuanced research on Jews in South Africa, the field remains ripe for further exploration. Inter alia, we welcome work that asks new questions:

What were the experiences of Jewish women, Sephardim, immigrants, and diverse others who did not fit into the Ashkenazi white male mould that has dominated the existing historiography? What have been the relationships between Jews and their diverse non-Jewish neighbours across the colour spectrum, beyond the limited rubric of apartheid politics? How have South African Jewish experiences and dilemmas been manifest in literature, theatre, music, and art? How did the experiences of Jews compare with those of other minorities in South Africa? How did the choices made by South African Jews compare with those of Jews in other racialized societies? Has acculturation and assimilation followed patterns found elsewhere, or is there something distinctive about identity and identity formation among South African Jews? What more can we learn about South African Jewish religious practices, politics, languages, and identities if we open up the field of research?

To have your work considered for the special issue, submit article-length manuscripts (8,000 words) to by 1 November, 2022.

Avril Alba, University of Sydney

Shirli Gilbert, University College London

Adam Mendelsohn, University of Cape Town

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