Jewish Fantasy Worldwide: Trends in Speculative Stories from Australia to Chile reaches beyond American fiction to reveal a spectrum of Jewish imagination. The chapters in this collection cover speculative works by Jewish artists and about Jewish characters from a broad range of national contexts, including post-Holocaust Europe, the Soviet Union, Israel, South America, French Canada, and the Middle East. The contributors consider various media including novels, short stories, film, YouTube videos, and fanfiction. Essays explore topics ranging from the ancient Jewish kingdom of Khazaria to modern university classes and the revival of Yiddish to the breadth of LGBTQ+ representation. For scholars and fans alike, this collection of essays will provide new perspectives on Jewish presences in speculative fiction around the world.
Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches at Mission College and San Jose City College.
Chapter 1. Jewish Speculative Fiction in Australia and New Zealand
Gillian Polack and Bettina Burger
Chapter 2. The Wandering Messiah in Alejandro Jodorowsky's Imaginary Universes
Chapter 3. When Jews Ruled the Volga: Exploring the Novels of the Khazars
Steven B. Frankel
Chapter 4. Kabbalist Rap: A Love Song for the Torah in Victoria Hanna’s Music Video אורייתא
Katharina Hadassah Wendl
Chapter 5. Djinn, Hauntings, and Double Consciousness: An Exploration of Mizrahi Magical Realism
Valerie Estelle Frankel
Chapter 6. Alternate History and Jewish Anxiety in Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America
Chapter 7. Leybl Botwinik’s Di Geheyme Shlikhes: A Groundbreaking Yiddish Science-Fiction Novel
Stephen M. Cohen
Chapter 8. Ancient Jewish Elements in 21st Century Alfredian Fanfiction
Chapter 9. Free Will, Kabbalah, Human Nature, and Messiah: Chaim Cigan’s Time Cruise via Parallel Histories and Identities
Chapter 10. Contra Torrentem: Leo Perutz’s By Night Under the Stone Bridge and Central European Fantasy
Chapter 11. Motifs of Secrecy, the Hidden and the Unspoken in the Novels of Isaac Asimov and Stanislaw Lem
Julie A. Hawkins
Chapter 12. Soviet Science Fiction of the 1960s and Jewishness: The Cases of Ilya Varshavsky and Gennady Gor
Chaper 13. Seeking a Promised Land: Estrangement and Belonging in Queer Jewish Speculative Fiction
Chapter 14. Why are Science Fiction Anthologies Ashkanormative?
Mara W. Cohen Ioannides and Valerie Estelle Frankel
Chapter 15. Writing the Jewish Heroine’s Journey
Evonne Marzouk and Patti McCarthy
Chapter 16. Teaching Jewish Speculative Fiction
These elucidations map out the true limits of the Jewish diaspora, which are also the limits of our imagination.
This is a wonderful volume, offering a wealth of information and analysis on the incredibly important, and yet often overlooked, topic of Jewish science fiction and fantasy. Historically, Jews have been central to the development of the genre in the US. But outside the US, there are many strands of Jewish-themed and Jewish-inspired speculative fiction that are almost unknown to the Anglophone academy. This comprehensive collection presents a broad overview of Jewish speculative fiction around the world, emphasizing both its heterogeneity and its unifying substratum of shared history and identity. Ranging from Australia to Central Europe, from Mizrahi Magical Realism to Soviet Science Fiction, this collection is indispensable to any serious scholar of Jewish culture and speculative fiction.
Jewish Fantasy Worldwide [does] an excellent job of giving wide-ranging perspectives on little-known authors, and new perspectives on well-known authors. Even contributions that go beyond the project’s parameters provide something substantial, well-researched, and well-written.