Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

New release: Jewish Underground Culture in the late Soviet Union. Edited by Klavdia Smola

23. July 2018


Special Issue, Journal "East European Jewish Affairs"
Volume 48/1, April 2018

This special issue of the journal "East European Jewish Affairs" is dedicated to the complex phenomenon of the unofficial, non-conformist Jewish culture in the late Soviet Union. Recent works exploring the networks of the sam- and tamizdat that were based on a living communicative system and produced a number of alternative public spheres, still have paid little attention to the sociocultural context of the Jewish underground scene. There are still only a few studies that address systemic phenomena such as the interaction between Jewish and non-Jewish unofficial networks; collections of unofficial Jewish publications; specifics of alternative public sphere(s) that originated in the refusenik movement, and finally, the original context of Jewish artifacts born from the spirit of collective communication. Especially the question regarding the cultural production created by the Soviet Jews, who only recently discovered Jewish tradition, requires an examination of the literature, (also Jewish) historiography and art that the unofficial intellectuals, who sought to create a new Jewish culture, received. The special edition of "East European Jewish Affairs" investigates through what sources, institutions, and non-Jewish mediators this occurred.
These questions shed new light on the Jewish underground culture, for they provide insights into how far it was incorporated into the broader context of the Soviet Union “second culture” and how Jewry functioned as an ethnic culture in late Socialism. (editor)

PD Dr. Klavdia Smola teaches Slavic literary studies at the University of Greifswald. Currently she has a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Konstanz.