Migration, Race, and Jewish Art of Latin America and the Caribbean

Migration, Race, and Jewish Art of Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA)
United States
Takes place
From - Until
01.05.2024 -
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

This special thematic issue invites contributions that explore visual art by Jewish cultural producers and/or about Jewishness in relation to changing notions of race and ethnicity caused by migration to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Migration, Race, and Jewish Art of Latin America and the Caribbean

Being Jewish is an ethnic as well as a religious identity, which includes a broad spectrum of racial identifications that have shifted over time and in relation to geopolitical alignments. Facing persecution and death from the Inquisition, Jews began migrating to Latin America as early as the sixteenth century, creating objects that reflected their displacement and new environments. Jewish migration to Latin America increased significantly during the first half of the twentieth century in relation to rising antisemitism, among other factors. Artists reflected on their forced migration in their work and memorialized the Shoah, despite bans on Jewish immigration in several countries and pressures to conform to new national identities. They also contributed avant-garde and modernist artwork and ideas, joining movements associated with surrealism and geometric abstraction as well as photographic societies across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Yet the central role of Jewish artists and culture in Latin American art history has largely gone unmentioned in scholarly publications and exhibitions. Our special issue asks: how did artists perceive their Jewishness as a marker of identity and/or inspiration for their creative practices? Did artists emphasize, minimize, or erase their Jewish backgrounds? How did they seek to express Jewish culture, migration, trauma, or history in their work? Finally, how have these artists’ Jewish backgrounds been understood in the broader art historiography of Latin America and the Caribbean?

This special issue of Latin American Jewish Studies will explore these and related questions featuring original research that spans the colonial period to the present. Topics for articles may include:
- Judaica made during the Inquisition
- Art made as part of secret adherence to Jewish practices
- Architecture and design of early synagogues as well as more recent Jewish educational and cultural institutions
- The effects of antisemitism and assimilation on the art and reception of Jewish artists in Latin America and the Caribbean
- 19th-century art and material culture related to Jewishness and the abolition of slavery
- Photography depicting migration or the establishment of Jewish communities in Latin America
- The influence of Jewish philosophy and culture on Mexican muralists
- José Gurvitch and Lasar Segall’s modernist meditations on migration and the Holocaust
- Material culture and art related to Jewish refugees in the Caribbean during World War II
- The construction of Holocaust memorials in Latin America
- Contributions of Jewish artists to international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, the São Paulo Bienal, and the Bienal de la Habana
- Left-wing secular Jewish artistic and literary networks
- Latin American artists working in experimental practices whose Jewish identity remains relatively understudied, such as Gego and Anna Bella Geiger
- Collaborations between Jewish, Black, and Indigenous artists in Latin America
- Omissions of Jewish identity and history in scholarship and curatorial projects

In addition to papers, we also invite proposals for book or exhibition reviews related to these issues.

Latin American Jewish Studies is the interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA). The journal publishes original scholarship on Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism within the context of Latin America and the Caribbean from the perspective of a broad array of disciplines in the arts, humanities, history, social sciences, and communications. Its mission is to advance the scholarly study of the Jewish experience and presence throughout the Americas through a variety of methodologies and theoretical and conceptual approaches. Latin American Jewish Studies invites contributions from all scholars working in the broadly defined, multidisciplinary field of Latin American Jewish Studies. Submissions are accepted in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. All articles will undergo a rigorous, double-blind peer-review process.

Deadline: May 31, 2024

Initial submission includes:
- 300-word abstract, including the article’s title, topic, argument, and implications for the field of Latin American Jewish studies and art history
- CV

To submit your abstract or for questions about proposal submissions, please contact alapinda@uci.edu and chelsea.haines@asu.edu. For more information about the LAJS, contact Darrell B. Lockhart lockhart@unr.edu and Stephen Silverstein stephen_silverstein@baylor.edu.

Authors will be notified of acceptance decision by June 15. Submission of completed article drafts will be due by November 1, 2024. Articles should range 4,500-6,000 words inclusive of footnotes and works cited while reviews should be no longer than 1,500 words.

For author guidelines, please see: https://www.academicstudiespress.com/prospective-authors/

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