Jewish Studies and Jewish Folklore
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Occasionally in the annals of scholarship there are events that turn upon themselves, so that, instead of being forums for exchange of ideas about a defined topic, they themselves become a subject for analysis and self-rejection. Our present panel is such an occasion. This is the first time in the history of the World Congresses for Jewish Studies that the program committee has allocated the discipline of folklore a plenary session, treating it as the equal of history, literature, Jewish languages and other fields that make up the entire gamut of Jewish studies. And thereby hangs a question. Why the long delay in such recognition, and what has changed now, at the Tenth World Congress, that a new recognition of folklore is warranted? Any attempt to answer this question requires a careful examination of the complex relations between the discipline of folklore and the field of Jewish studies.