Dr. Vered Madar

Memory and place in the memoirs of Jewish men and women from Yemen

A Folklore post-doctoral researcher at “Da’at Hamakom”: Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. My doctoral thesis (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2011), titled “Yemenite Women’s Songs for the Parturient and Their Laments over the Dead: Text, Body and Voice”, introduced a comprehensive study of orally-transmitted songs of Jewish Yemenite women in their ritual and cultural context. My discussion focused on the perceptions of the female body in the songs and the laments. In addition, the study examined the establishment of women’s vocal community and its therapeutic powers.

My current post-doctoral research is titled “Memoirs: The Return to a Place”, focusing on memory and place in the memoirs of Jewish men and women from Yemen. The questions in the center of the study discuss the relationships between autobiographical writing and historical writing, as well as the transition from oral culture to a written product which creates an “oral text”. The majority of the memoirs I study have been published in Israel during the last three decades. Due to the fact that these books are written today but deal with the past, they strongly reflect the dialogue the authors and the community as a whole carry between the past and present, and between the geographical-historical locations and the imagined place–Israel and Yemen.

Selected Publications

Academic Publications in Refereed Journals:

  • With D. Schrire, “From Leipzig to Jerusalem: Erich Brauer, a Jewish Ethnographer in Search of a Field”, Naharaim 8 (1),    2014, pp. 91-119. (English)
  • “Lamentations of Women from Yemen: From Death to Birth”, Igud – Selected Publications in Jewish Studies, Vol. 3, Literatures, Arts and Languages. Jerusalem: The World Association of Jewish Studies, 2008, pp. 281-291. (Hebrew)
  • (with G. Hasan-Rokem and D. Schrire) “From Grasping Hegemony to a Radical Change: Social Struggle, the Discourse of Intellectuals and Folklore Research”, Theory and Criticism 29 (2006), pp. 247-255. (Hebrew)
  • “The Story of the Exodus and the Story of Hannah and her Seven Sons: A Gendered Reading of two stories in the Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women”, Nashim 11 (2006), pp.84-105. (English)
  • “Lamentations of Women from Yemen: Text between Voice and Movement,” Jerusalem Studies of Jewish Folklore 23 (2005), pp.89-119. (Hebrew)
  • “What did death tell you when it came? Lamentations of Women from Yemen in their Cultural Context,” Pe’amim 103 (2005), pp. 5-55. (Hebrew)

Academic Publications in Refereed Books:

  • “Women’s Oral Laments: Corpus and Text – the Body in the Text”, Lament in Jewish Thought, Institute for Jewish Studies, University of Antwerp, Ilit Ferber, Paula Schwebel (Eds.), 2014, 65-86. (English)
  • “From the Story of the Exodus to the Story of Hannah and her Seven Sons in the Jewish Culture of Yemenite Women”, The Jubilee Book in Honor of Prof. Yosef Tobi, Ayelet Etinter, Dani Bar-Maoz (Eds.), 2011, pp. 241-271. (Hebrew)
  • “Listening and Exegesis in a Women’s Vocal Community”, a collection of articles, Scholion- “The Exegetical Imagination: Religion and Art”, 2014. [In press], (Hebrew)

Non Refereed Publications:

  •  “The Search for a Feeling of Home,” “ERETZ ACHERET” (Another Land), 36, 2006, pp. 80-86. (Hebrew)
  •  “Lamentations of Women from Yemen: the Chain Passing between Generations in Its Cultural Context,” LeAchoti- Oriental Feminist Politics, ed. Shlomit Lir, Tel Aviv, 2007, pp. 227-245. (Hebrew)
  •  “Lamentations of Women from Yemen: One Mourner, Two Lamentations: a Case Study,” Jubilee Book of 120 Years’ Yemenite Migration to Israel, Tel-Aviv: E’eleh Be-Tamar, 2005, pp. 180-205. (Hebrew)