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Toward a Greek History of the Jews of Salonica?


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Modern Greek historiography has rendered Salonican Jews invisible in the national historical narrative, while those occasional works appearing in the past decades have treated them as a coherent and isolated community. In the 1970s and 1980s, a leftist historiography challenged the nationalist narrative but replaced it with a methodological ethnocentrism. The “new Greek history” was almost exclusively preoccupied with state formation, failed modernization, class structure, and the impact of the West, neglecting various religious, gender, and ethnic internal “others.” Only in the 1990s did the politics of identity and memory provide a space for the emergence of an interest in Greek-Jewish history. However, reliance on the homogenizing and static concept of community (borrowed from Greek historiography) and the absence of bottom-up, sociohistorical works still result in the exclusion of Salonican Jewry from the historiographical mainstream. The Greek-Jewish historiography of Salonica shares many of the negative features of Greek historiography, and both should turn to a systematic and multidimensional study of crossings and interrelations between axes of difference.



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Link to article (paywalled), Toward a Greek History of the Jews of Salonica?

Bibliographic Information

Avdela, Efi Toward a Greek History of the Jews of Salonica?. Jewish History. 2014: 405-410.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/s10835-014-9220-3