Jewish and Israel Studies

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The Jewish Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean

Fragments of Memory

Kirstin Ruggerio is Professor of History, Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and an Associate Director of the Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Modernity in the Flesh: Medicine, Law and Society in Turn-of-the-Century Argentina (Stanford University Press, 2004) and And Here the World Ends: The Life of an Argentine Village (Stanford University Press, 1988). She has published numerous articles and book chapters on subjects such as Argentine women’s exclusion and maternal crimes; the devil and modernity; degeneration and fingerprinting; honor and passion; and European immigration to Argentina. Research for her work was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Since the 1970s, the Latin American Jewish Diaspora has been recognized as a unique phenomenon in diasporic studies, due to the development of new ways of thinking about internationalism and globalization. Important works of the 1980s and 1990s established the critical role of Jews in Latin America. This collection moves the field forward by providing an interdisciplinary and comparative view of Jewish experiences through history, literature, painting, anthropology, poetry, sociology, and politics.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-061-3
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $67.50
Release Date: February 2005
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-414-7
Paperback Price: £22.50 / $34.50
Release Date: April 2010
Page Extent / Format: 324 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes




Part I Relocation in the Nazi Years
1 Simultaneity of Past and Present in Mexico
Ruth Schwertfeger
2 Counter discourse in Argentina: Victoria Ocampo and SUR’s Attitude toward the Jews during World War II
Rosalie Sitman
3 Imagining Otherness: The Jewish Question in Brazil, 1930–1940
Jeffrey Lesser

Part II Constructing Memory
4 Argentine Jews and the Accusation of “Dual Loyalty,” 1960–1962
Raanan Rein
5 Deconstructing Anti-Semitism in Argentina
David Sheinin
6 After the AMIA Bombing: A Critical Analysis of Two Parallel Discourses
Beatriz Gurevich

Part III Identity and Hybridity
7 Identity and Memories of Cuban Jews
Robert M. Levine
8 While Waiting for the Ferry to Cuba: Afterthoughts about Adio Kerida
Ruth Behar
9 Caribbean Hybridity and the Jews of Martinique
William F. S. Miles
10 Mexico: The Rise and Fall of Yiddish
Ilán Stavans

Part IV Poeticizing, Painting, Writing the Pain
11 Traces of Memory
Marjorie Agosín
12 Surviving Genocide
Raquel Partnoy
13 Poetry as a Strategy for Resistance in the Holocaust and the Southern Cone Genocides
Alicia Partnoy

Notes on Contributors

In this unusual collection, poets rub shoulders with historians, a painter evokes memories that memory strives to forget, and researchers cut through the cant of politicians and the obfuscation of official records to get to the root of the disasters that have overtaken Jews in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Editor Kristin Ruggiero brings together thirteen insightful interpreters of the Latin American Jewish experience – historians, sociologists and artists who re-create the particular Fragments they have lived. Whether writing as an émigré returning to Cuba, a Mexican savoring his Yiddish legacy, or a desaparecida surviving in an Argentine prison by reciting poetry to herself, each memoirist presents fresh and original ideas. Individual essays, grounded in significant historical research, reorient our thinking about racial identity in Brazil and the forces behind terrorist bombings in Buenos Aires. To a remarkable degree, the writers succeed in conveying the quality of their experience, its distinctive coloration and aroma and historical weight. Drawing the link between Nazism and the policies of Latin American dictators, the essays make plain and undeniable the hostile context for Jewish life on that continent. Dimensions of the pain caused by oppression are expressed in poetry, through ellipsis, con cariño, with love. These Fragments of Memory – of alienation, identity, and resistance – contribute significantly toward a phantom reconstruction of the multifaceted Latin American Jewish experience. Judith Laikin Elkin, University of Michigan; a Founder of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association

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