Contemporary Jewry, the journal of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ)
Call for Papers for three special issues
Address all inquiries to Harriet Hartman, editor-in-chief, Contemporary Jewry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Pew Research Center’s Jewish Americans in 2020
- We are interested in full-length manuscripts (8-10,000 words) as well as shorter pieces focusing on a specific aspect of the study. Analyses of the Pew data that address important issues related to contemporary Jewry are welcome, as well as comparisons to other surveys, critical essays, and suggestions for future research are examples of (but not inclusive of all) the topics of interest.
- Clarity of focus, appropriate scholarly grounding of the research question and analysis, representation of diverging viewpoints, and insightful suggestions will be among the criteria for selection.
- Interested contributors are welcome to email an initial abstract to the journal editor for feedback, although this is not a requirement.
- All manuscripts should be submitted to the Contemporary Jewry editorial manager by July 1, 2022, designated as S.I.: PEW 2020.
- For details on the submission process, please see https://www.springer.com/social+sciences/sociology/journal/12397?detailsPage=pltci_1060550
- Address all inquiries to Harriet Hartman, editor-in-chief, Contemporary Jewry, email@example.com
2) Jews of Color: The Nature, Boundaries, and Politics of Categorical Thinking about Diversity and Inclusion
The understanding of Jewish identity and debates about “who is a Jew” are characterized by a rich diversity of perspectives. These understandings have benefitted from passionate presentations about how Jewish identity can be conceptualized, defined, operationalized, and measured. Keenly aware of the synergy emanating from rigorous scholarly debate, we invite scholars of Jewry to turn their gaze to the subject of diversity among Jews, particularly as regards “Jews of Color.” Examples of possible topics include:
- How do analytical categories and self-identification differ or converge? How much do the personal beliefs of people labelled as “Jews of color” really matter? Do analytical categories shape the lived reality or reflect lived experiences?
- How do the categories of ethnicity, race, and racialized ethnicity carry different meanings to social actors in different contexts?
- How do we build concepts and categories to explain, understand and measure processes of inclusion and exclusion?
- How do the different ways that we define “Jews of color” affect how we count Jews? Is that important?
- Given the global nature of the Jewish people, is it important that the conceptualization of “Jews of color” translates beyond the borders of the United States? Do comparative perspectives carry weight for this topic?
- Does the concept of “Jews of color” vary by the specific context, group or sub-ethnicity? For example, do Latinx/Latin American Jewish immigrants to the United States see themselves as Hispanic? Do Ashkenazim and Sephardim fit into the concept of “Jews of color”?
- Is there a gendered perspective on this issue? A social-legal perspective? A halachic perspective? Are there other perspectives?
Given that Contemporary Jewry is a primary venue for research and theoretical advances in the social scientific study of contemporary Jewry, we see Contemporary Jewry bringing its own voice to the table in this special issue. We envision this issue as a forum for a diversity of opinions to be heard in a safe scholarly space with respectful reactions. We welcome both professional and personal perspectives on this issue (and their intersections). Both longer and shorter pieces are welcome. Abstracts may be submitted earlier for feedback, but are not required.
The target date for submission is September 1, 2022.
3) Responding to and Emerging from Crisis
Contemporary Jewry is soliciting papers for a special issue entitled Responding to and Emerging from Crisis. As its etymological origins suggest, crisis is a decisive or critical point when change becomes possible, when events may take a substantially different turn, when distinguishing and making sense become possible. Whether in response to contemporary events or those deeper in the past, we invite scholars of Jewry to dwell upon the subject of emerging from crisis and life in the aftermath.
Examples of possible topics include:
- What lessons have Jewish communities learned from the pandemic, in terms of the efficacy of on-line programming, asynchronous content dissemination and the ongoing relevance of remote communal activities in the post-pandemic world?
- What does mental wellness look like in Jewish communities? Is Jewish mental health gendered? Which are our vulnerable sub-groups and how can we best support them as we emerge from a global pandemic?
- Can it be said that survivors of the Shoah, their direct descendants—and world Jewry—will ever emerge from the Shoah?
- What is the nature of the experience of agunot and agunim (lit. chained ones, those whose spouses refuse to divorce them by Jewish law)?
- How do victims, communities, and organizations emerge from the crisis of sexual, physical and emotional abuse allegations? What do healing, advocacy and support look like? What do victims want from their communities or organizations, why does that matter and is that currently happening?
- For those raised Orthodox who later in life identify as OTD (Off the Derech, or formerly Orthodox), what does that process of life change involve? Is this transformation a form of crisis?
- The sociology of religion has identified faith, community and belonging as protective against the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. What does Jewish coping and support look like?
Two years have passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is unclear whether the pandemic is entirely over, sufficient time has passed, allowing scholars to explore some of these questions analytically and reflectively. But the pandemic is only one framework with which to understand crisis and how Jews respond to and emerge from it. Contemporary Jewry is an important venue for research and theoretical advances in the social scientific study of contemporary Jewry. We feel the time has come to grapple with these questions in this special issue.
We welcome both professional and personal perspectives on this issue (and their intersections). Both longer and shorter pieces are welcome. Abstracts may be submitted earlier for feedback, but are not required.
The target date for submission is January 2023.