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AJS Perspectives

Call for Submissions: The Travel Issue

Editors: Chaya Halberstam & Mira Sucharov
Art Editor: Douglas Rosenberg
Roundtable Editor: Jason Schulman
"Teaching with Film and Media" Editor: Olga Gershenson

We invite original essays, roundtables, and art submissions on the theme of travel.

The Spring 2022 issue of AJS Perspectives, titled “The Travel Issue,” will be devoted to examining the theme of travel through a Jewish Studies lens, broadly defined. The pandemic has given many of us new insights into our own travel habits and hopes: why do we travel? What if we all just stayed home? Travel has continuously transformed individuals, communities, and the world--and today, as much as it is bringing the world closer together, it is also contributing toward destroying it.

Distinct from migration (which AJS Perspectives explored in a previous issue), travel for tourism, pilgrimage, business, cultural exchange, education, and love permeate Jewish experiences and narratives from ancient inscriptions to the modern novel. The act of traveling itself has also transformed Jewish realities in the past and present. For some, travel can even be done, as in the case of out-of-body perceptual experiences, without leaving the house.

Jewishness has often (and perhaps stereotypically) been linked to travel. The itinerant prophet, the medieval trope of the wandering Jew, the traveling merchants of the early modern period, and the ‘cosmopolitanism’ of the twentieth-century all attest to the continuous role that travel has played and continues to play in conceptions of Jewishness. Travel to the land of Israel, in particular, has remained a constant theme in Jewish imagination, whether in ancient commandments about the three biblical pilgrimage festivals or participation in contemporary Birthright tours. The Travel Issue seeks to explore how travel has shaped Jews and Judaism in various historical and geographic contexts.

As always, we also invite essays that explore these themes from creative and scholarly perspectives, as well as reflections on travel in pedagogy (e.g., travel-abroad courses) and the profession (e.g., the in-person conference experience).

Completed essays should be no longer than 1,000 words.

Roundtable Submissions:

We invite submissions for the new Roundtable format in AJS Perspectives. Roundtables feature a group of scholars exploring a topic in a conversational manner. Like essays, roundtables can explore the Travel theme from creative and scholarly perspectives, as well as reflections on travel in pedagogy (e.g., travel-abroad courses) and the profession (e.g., the in-person conference experience). We particularly welcome roundtables formed for past or upcoming AJS Conferences. Roundtables should consist of 3-5 participants and should be no longer than 2,000 words in total.

"Teaching with Film and Media" Submissions:

We also invite submissions for the new “Teaching with Film and Media” section in AJS Perspectives, edited by Olga Gershenson. This section will feature short essays drawn from different areas of Jewish Studies about films and their use in the classroom. For this issue, films examined should engage with the theme of travel. Each submission should consist of a film synopsis (including director, year, country of production, and distributor) and a brief discussion of its pedagogical potential in Jewish Studies courses. Each essay should be about 250-300 words.

Art Submissions:

We invite artists to address the topic through relevant practices that may include, (but are not limited to) photography, printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture, performative documentation or other reproducible media.

Art submissions should be the highest quality digital representation in your particular medium. Please submit files with appropriate description and any additional information which may be helpful to the editors.

We aim to promote a diversity of voices including career stage, socio-economic situation, gender, religion, race, sexuality, and ability. As such, you are invited to include relevant aspects of whatever subjectivity or positionality may inform your writing.

The deadline for pitches is Nov. 1, 2021.

Submit here: link to form

Essay submitters should supply an abstract of up to 250 words + a draft introductory paragraph.

Roundtable submitters should supply an abstract of up to 250 words and a short biography of each roundtable contributor.

Art submitters should supply an image of their artwork.

Decisions on pitches will be made by Nov 15, 2021.

Completed essays are due Dec 22, 2021.

Contributors will need to be available by email to respond to editorial suggestions for any necessary revisions from late December through the end of January.