Queering Jewish Cultural Heritage in Europe

Laufzeit: 2022-2025


The project deploys inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives at the intersections of Jewish Studies, Queer Studies, Ethnomusicology and further disciplines. It interrogates the construction of contemporary European Jewish Cultural Heritage(hereafter “JCH”). It identifies the creation of JCH as a process that is initiated and stimulated through Jewish encounters, rather than merely related toconcrete “objects” – encounters often at odds withhow heritage is presented for public consumption – forexample in relation to oral or sonic practices. Jewish responses evoke a “queering” process on a spectrumof Jewish belonging and difference, both in relation to the surrounding society and within Jewish diversity.

More broadly, the project aims to re-evaluate the connection between the State, minorities in their intersectionality, and the identification and display of cultural heritage. It highlights the diversity of Jewish positionalities (from secular to orthodox – both modern and haredi), contributing to a reparative process which locates JCH as part of an experiential process.

Using ethnographic and sensory-ethnographic fieldwork with Jewish communities and cultural practitioners in European urban centres, we’ll collectand analyse data regarding the creation of JCH through Jewish encounters, and work towards internationally relevant equity-based approaches to cultural heritage.

For non-Jewish audiences, encounters with JCH tangible objects often function as substitutes for contact with living Jews. This substitution offers an uncomplicated, hence, controllable and uncontroversial positive engagement associated to combatting antisemitism and promoting anti-racism, but is often characterized by temporal stasis, suggesting an idealized, unchanging, Jewishness of the past that bears little resemblance to lived Judaism– past or present. In line with the main critical and discursive goals of the SPP, this project provocatively reconstructs the creation of JCH as coming from awide spectrum of Jewish experiences and positionalities, and it formulates visions to reimagine JCH in ways that promote diversity, inclusivity and community agency.

Kooperationspartner*innen und Assoziierte

Person, Institut, Hochschule

Person, Institut, Hochschule

Person, Institut, Hochschule

Institution, Ort

Institution, Ort

Institution, Ort


PD Dr. Sacha Kagan

Center for World Music

Universität Hildesheim

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Prof. Dr. Miranda Crowdus

Department of Religions and Cultures

Concordia University, Montreal/ Canada

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