Collecting the Pieces of the Jewish Diaspora: Zionist Folkloristics Facing the Shoah / Dani Schrire

olk-culture is typically associated with continuity; how can one engage folk-culture in situations of destruction and extermination – the reality Zionist folklorists confronted facing the Shoah? With the first bits of information regarding the destruction in Europe, many of them assembled in Tel Aviv to form the Yeda Am folklore society; in tandem, the Institute for Jewish Folklore was formed in Jerusalem. The two competing organizations dealt with fragmentary lives in the Diaspora in different ways, in their quest to find new meanings from them. This book examines Zionist folkloristics at this dire hour from a perspective that views fractured reality as a fundamental principle in studying cultures in general, by combining approaches from folklore studies and science and technology studies. This book undermines the distinction between individualist scholarly knowledge and collective folklore by examining everyday scholarly habits: Archival practices, the use of letterheads, jubilee celebrations of scholars as well as practices of editing and laying out scholarly publications. The tension between national culture and ethnic cultures is revealed in new ways, as is the relationship between avant-garde and folklore studies.