Founded in 2013, the purpose of the British Jewish Contemporary Cultures Network (BJ:CC) is to bring together academics working in the field of contemporary British Jewish Studies. The aim of BJ:CC is to enable the development of meaningful collaborative links between researchers at differing stages of their careers. We seek to locate the study of contemporary British Jewish culture in a more European, global and comparative setting, as well as into imperial, postcolonial and transnational narratives.
We aim to negotiate, but also to productively exploit, the tension between a more multicultural British Jewish Studies and the impetus to explore the specificity of the Jewish experience in Britain with increasing theoretical and methodological complexity. We are guided by the belief that further comparative study of contemporary British Jewish culture offers another method to move British Jewish Studies beyond its current island boundaries.
Our network redresses a key gap in British Jewish Studies by bringing together for the first time, a range of scholars, both established and emerging, that address different aspects of contemporary British Jewish culture – it is this overarching theme that ties us together. We engage with a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, Literature, Gender and Queer Theory, Sociology, Philosophy, Postcolonial Studies, History, Film Studies, Television Studies, Media Studies, Religious Studies, Fine Art, Jewish Studies and Journalism, to name just a few. We draw upon existing literatures of Jewish cultural studies and newer work on the cultural production of Diaspora Jewishness beyond the American context.
Finally, the network is designed to increase academic and public understanding of British Jewish Contemporary Cultures, ethnicity Diaspora and imagery. We hope to generate interest among broad audiences seeking to understand contemporary culture. We also aim to raise awareness of the valuable work being done in the UK today and beyond in order to promote greater interest in British Jewish Contemporary Cultures.Nathan Abrams (University of Bangor) & Ruth Gilbert (University of Winchester)