By Marla Morris (auth.)
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Additional resources for Jewish Intellectuals and the University
But also is absent from the curriculum in the school” (p. 163). Curriculum studies is a discipline that welcomes the other and encourages the other to speak, encourages the other to find a voice in the wilderness. And yet, it is surprising that many Jewish scholars in my own field—curriculum studies—do not address their own Jewish subject-positions. Jewish subject-positions, of course, are not monolithic. Identity is complex. Perhaps, though, the word “identity” misleads. To “have” an identity suggests having something with a core or an essence.
Americans can and should write about the Holocaust and should not be criticized for doing so just because they are American. It is crucial for Americans to think through the Holocaust for many reasons of course. It is terribly important for historians to write through their own cultural lenses to reinterpret the Holocaust for generations-to-come. The Holocaust is not the property of Europeans, it is not the property of anyone. The Holocaust is a burden for us all to think about. The problematic nature of doing scholarly work as an American Jew, the problematic nature of being a minority and being constantly on guard against anti-Semitic slurs, creates ways of thinking about the world that are different from that of mainstream culture.
This is probably why Jewish jokes may come in handy psychologically, as Freud JEWISH INTELLECTUALS 31 (1960a) knew. Jokes can offset tension Jews feel from the outside world. Jokes are more than a laughing matter, however. As Freud points out, jokes spring from a deep unconscious site and operate like dreams. Freud (1960a) comments, To the totality of these transforming processes I gave the name of the “dream-work”; and I have described as a part of this dream-work a process of condensation which shows the greatest similarity to the one found in the technique of jokes—which, like it, leads to abbreviation, and creates substitute-formations of the same character.