Bio: David Shneer is an academic researcher from University of Colorado Boulder. The author has contributed to research in topics: Judaism & Jewish culture. The author has an hindex of 8, co-authored 32 publications receiving 245 citations. Previous affiliations of David Shneer include University of Denver & University of California, Berkeley.
01 Dec 2005
TL;DR: In "New Jews" as discussed by the authors, Caryn Aviv and David Shneer provocatively argue that there is a new generation of Jews who don't consider themselves to be eternally wandering, forever outsiders within their communities and seeking to one day find their homeland.
Abstract: For many contemporary Jews, Israel no longer serves as the Promised Land, the center of the Jewish universe and the place of final destination. In "New Jews", Caryn Aviv and David Shneer provocatively argue that there is a new generation of Jews - the eponymous "New Jews" - who don't consider themselves to be eternally wandering, forever outsiders within their communities and seeking to one day find their homeland. Instead, these New Jews are at home, whether it be in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, or Berlin, and are rooted within communities of their own choosing. In this sense Shneer and Aviv argue that Jews have come to the end of their diaspora; wandering no more, today's Jews are settled. In this wide-ranging book, the authors take us around the world, to Moscow, Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles, among other places, and find vibrant, dynamic Jewish communities where Jewish identy is increasingly flexible and inclusive, not something to be hidden but a part of one's identity to be proud of. In the process the authors focus on new elements of Jewish life, like the heritage industry, the emergence of a distinct queer Jewish community, the increasingly complicated relation to Israel, and the central role America, especially New York, plays in global Jewish life. "New Jews" offers a compelling portrait of Jewish life today.
08 Nov 2010
TL;DR: Shneer as discussed by the authors focused on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg and Max Alpert, who were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities.
Abstract: Most view the relationship of Jews to the Soviet Union through the lens of repression and silence Focusing on an elite group of two dozen Soviet-Jewish photographers, including Arkady Shaykhet, Alexander Grinberg, Mark Markov-Grinberg, Evgenii Khaldei, Dmitrii Baltermants, and Max Alpert, "Through Soviet Jewish Eyes" presents a different picture These artists participated in a social project they believed in and with which they were emotionally and intellectually invested-they were charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story of the unprecedented horror we now call the Holocaust These wartime photographers were the first liberators to bear witness with cameras to Nazi atrocities, three years before Americans arrived at Buchenwald and Dachau In this passionate work, David Shneer tells their stories and highlights their work through their very own images-he has amassed never-before-published photographs from families, collectors, and private archives" Through Soviet Jewish Eyes" helps us understand why so many Jews flocked to Soviet photography; what their lives and work looked like during the rise of Stalinism, during and then after the war; and why Jews were the ones charged with documenting the Soviet experiment and then its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis
TL;DR: The field of Holocaust photography has been largely overlooked by historians as mentioned in this paper, which is surprising given the deep interest in questions of Holocaust history and memory that historians such as Saul Friedlander, Charles Maier and Jeffrey Herf have wrestled with since the 1980s.
Abstract: DESPITE THE EXTENSIVE BOOKSHELF of historical works about World War II and the Holocaust, the scholarly study of war and Holocaust photography has generally been carried out not by historians, but by journalists or cultural theorists. Scholars generally use these “photographs of trauma,” to quote Ulrich Baer, to explore the nature and meaning of photography. The late critic Susan Sontag did much to raise awareness of the power of photography, and her 2004 book Regarding the Pain of Others reflects in depth on the function that war photography plays (or doesn’t play) in politics and national memory.1 Historians have rarely touched the field of Holocaust photography. This is a major gap, especially since photography and film were the primary means of representing the war visually to the public worldwide, and because they have become primary means of memorializing the Holocaust. It is also surprising given the deep interest in questions of Holocaust history and memory that historians such as Saul Friedlander, Charles Maier, and Jeffrey Herf have wrestled with since the 1980s. In fact, one could argue that it was the attempt to historicize the Holocaust that forced historians to engage in theoretical questions about history and memory, as a result
TL;DR: In the 1920s, the Soviet Union invested a group of talented, mostly socialist, occasionally Communist, Jewish writers and thinkers to use the power of the state to remake Jewish culture and identity.
Abstract: Argument In the 1920s the Soviet Union invested a group of talented, mostly socialist, occasionally Communist, Jewish writers and thinkers to use the power of the state to remake Jewish culture and identity. The Communist state had inherited a multiethnic empire from its tsarist predecessors and supported the creation of secular cultures for each ethnicity. These cultures would be based not on religion, but on language and culture. Soviet Jews had many languages from which to choose to be their official Soviet language, but Yiddish, the vernacular of eastern European Jewry, won the battle and served as the basis of secular Soviet Jewish culture. Soviet Jewish scholars, writers, and other cultural activists remade Jewish culture by creating a usable Jewish past that fit the socialist present, reforming the “wild” vernacular of Yiddish into a modern language worthy of high culture, and transforming Jews into secular Soviet citizens.
TL;DR: A growing body of books and articles on the subject indicate that there is a new body of scholarship, defined by a cultural studies approach to the Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish experience.
Abstract: In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: In 2009 Natan Sharansky, formerly an iconic Soviet refusenik and now an Israeli politician, was named chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the wing of the Israeli government historically charged with fostering Jewish immigration to Israel, traditionally known as aliya. Sharansky, however, immediately reformulated the central mission of the Jewish Agency away from aliya and toward the strengthening of secular Jewish identity around the world. The Forward reported: At the center of Sharansky's plan is the notion of peoplehood. He and a tight group of ideological allies—mostly other Russian Jews—believe that the Jewish Agency must now become a global promoter of Jewish identity, particularly among the young. Peoplehood, according to its proponents, is defined as a sense of connectivity between Jews who share a common history and fate. With Sharansky's ascent to this particular position and the concurrent shift in the Jewish Agency's mission from fomenter of migration to builder of secular Jewish identity, Soviet Jews have moved to the center of conversations about Jewish identity and culture. These new developments give reason to think seriously about Soviet Jewish culture and its impact on global Jewish culture. Indeed, a growing number of books and articles on the subject indicate that there is a new body of scholarship, defined by a cultural studies approach to the Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish experience. These new studies come from varied disciplines, such as history, anthropology, film studies, and literary criticism, to name a few, but they all put culture and cultural production at the center of scholarship on Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish community and identity. We call this emerging field "Soviet Jewish Cultural Studies." This newly developing field sweeps across temporal and spatial boundaries. It encompasses Jewish experiences in both the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, as well as within the borders of the Former Soviet Union and outside of it, in Israel, North America, or elsewhere, wherever Soviet and post-Soviet Jews have migrated. What the subjects of all of this research have in common is the experience of having lived under the Soviet Union with its radical experiments in Jewish identity and culture. Scholars working in this emerging field generally do not look at Soviet and post-Soviet Jews through the more traditional lenses of vanishing diasporas, Soviet anti-Semitism, and the disappearance of Yiddish and Hebrew cultures. Rather than approaching the Jewish experience of Soviet Jews with presumptions of what it means to be Jewish, and whether in fact Soviet Jews measure up, this scholarship asks what it means to be Jewish in a Soviet and post-Soviet context. In what ways is Jewishness performed and represented? By taking a birds-eye, interdisciplinary view, we want to redefine the field of Soviet Jewish Studies, and to use particular examples of the new research to suggest what a cultural studies approach reveals about Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish culture. We will demonstrate first that scholars of Soviet Jewish Cultural Studies have focused on new forms of Jewish practice that have sometimes supplanted traditional religious practices. Secondly, we show that this body of scholarship in Soviet Jewish Cultural Studies complicates the idea that twentieth century Jewish history is a history of assimilation, a movement downward from authentic Jewish practice rooted in Jewish languages to the end of a distinctive Jewish life. Most importantly, this new scholarship takes a global rather than national perspective, since post-Soviet Jewry is one of the most transnational in contemporary Jewish life. Thus, in a post-Soviet, post-Zionist, post-assimilationist moment in global Jewish culture, this group of Jews with their unique cultural history may be placed at the center, not periphery, of the global Jewish experience. Therefore, the body of scholarship forming Soviet Jewish Cultural Studies has much to offer to scholars in Jewish and Russian Studies, as well as Diaspora Studies.
TL;DR: In this paper, Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism are discussed. And the history of European ideas: Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 721-722.
Abstract: (1995). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. History of European Ideas: Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 721-722.
01 Dec 2016
01 Jan 2006