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Cynthia M. Baker
President and Trustees of Bates College (Lewiston, ME 04240-6028)
"Jew": A Multidimensional Study of a Key Identity Term

This book will map the emergence, historical development, and current permutations of the identity term "Jew". No studies yet exist that analyze the uses, appropriations, and deployments of this identity term in a synchronic and diachronic fashion from earliest antiquity through our postmodern era. The project has 3 parts: 1) examination of ancient evidence for the origins of the term as compiled and narrated through a range of modern categories and concerns; 2) exploration of overlapping and competing definitions (Christian, anti-Semitic, nationalist, etc.) that have constituted the identity category "Jew(s)" throughout history and in modern scholarship and public discourse; 3) examination of constructions of "Jew(s)" within emerging discourses of transnationalism and multiethnicity. The project is important both in its specificity and as a case study for analyzing "historically and cross-culturally" the dynamics of identity formation and attribution.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Jewish Studies

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2010 – 5/31/2011