Edited volume by Ulrike Brunotte

The book ‘Internal Outsiders – Imagined Orientals? Antisemitism, Colonialism and Modern Constructions of Jewish Identity’ explores the possibility of applying perspectives developed in the context of Gender and Postcolonial Studies to Jewish Cultural Studies and Studies in Antisemitism. It is the third joint research output of the international network “Gender in Antisemitism, Orientalism, and Occidentalism” (ReNGOO), chaired by Ulrike Brunotte since 2013.

Starting with two introductory texts on the ‘Oriental Web’ and the longue durée of the figure of the Jew as embodiment of the ‘other’ in colonial discourse, the essays analyse the ways in which stereotypes of the external and internal other intertwine in modern national discourse. The texts also examine the ways in which these borders are demarcated and transgressed by means of Orientalist self-fashioning in Jewish cultural production. The idea of Self-Orientalisation poses a challenge to the Saidian theory, in which Orientalism is conceived of as a “strange secret sharer of Western Antisemitism”.

The general theme is approached in an interdisciplinary manner and the book is divided into several chapters that cover, amongst others topics, the interaction of colonialism, Zionism and Orientalism, the Jew as a literary Oriental trope, and the entanglement of Orientalising identities with gender and queer identities. The collection is primarily concerned with the intricate genealogies of contemporary discourses.

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