22 September 2010

SAGE: Academic journals free access through Oct. 15

Non-academics are often frustrated at not being able to access online the rich resources of many academic journals.

Here's a limited opportunity for Tracing the Tribe readers who do not have convenient access in person or online to a public or academic library subscribing to journals of interest.

SAGE Journals Online is offering free access through October 15.

I searched for "Jewish family history" and received a list of 10,068 hits, and then for "Sephardic" with 254 results.

For my Sephardic search, the publications included:

Journal of Black Studies, Transcultural Psychiatry, International Political Science Review, Journal of European Studies, Race & Class, Currents in Biblical Research, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Traumatology, Critical Sociology, Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Ethnography, Journal of Child Neurology, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Political Research Quarterly, Philosophy & Social Criticism, International Communication Gazette, Medieval History Journal, Journal of Family History, and many more.
Topics included:

Sephardim speaking Spanish, lots of politics in Israel and elsewhere, Sephardic topics in ethnic psychiatry, Sephardic genetic conditions, prejudice, migration, book reviews, Sephardim in Australia, Ethiopian Jews, Sephardim in Anglo-Jewry and the law, Jewish magic tradition, Holocaust as trauma, American Sephardim, Sephardic personalities, 16th-century Ottoman Empire "New Christians" converting back to Judaism, Sephardim in Russia, Kabbalistic language, Spanish Inquisition, and many others.
Journals available are from 1999 through current issues, and full-text PDFs are available.

The Sephardic search produced two fascinating articles.

Alisa Meyuhas Ginio (Tel Aviv University) authored an interesting 23-page article in the Medieval History Journal (2009 12:383): "Returning to Judaism: The Reconversion of 'New Christians' to Their Ancestral Jewish Faith in the Ottoman Empire during the Sixteenth Century."

Here's the abstract. I could not copy-and-paste from the PDF, but could from the online article at the Medieval History Journal site. Even after downloading the article to my computer, I could not copy-and-paste. The article referenced quite a few fascinating cases involving marriages, conversions and other events in Salonica and other cities. The bibliography and responsa references could be very useful to a genealogist looking for information on a specific family.

The last century of Jewish life in the Iberian Peninsula (1391–1492) was marked by continuous persecutions leading to the conversion of a large number of Jews to Christianity. Known as ‘New Christians’, they escaped from the Iberian Peninsula to the Ottoman Empire, where—under Muslim dominion—they could return to their ancestral creed, reconverting to Judaism. This article examines the three waves of migration that took place during the last decade of the fifteenth century and during the sixteenth century. The legal status of the newcomers with regard to the Jewish religion was to be settled by rabbinical decisions. Contemporary Jewish rabbanim were aware of the conflicting factors that had motivated migration from Portugal and their attitudes towards the newcomers reflected suspicions about the latter’s ability to integrate within the existing Jewish congregations.
The other article was by Professor of Economics David E. Hojman of the University of Liverpool Management School: "Who is Afraid of the Spanish Inquisition? Endogamy and Culture Development Among Chiloe Encomenderos and Catholic Namesakes of Persecution Victims," in the Journal of Family History (July 2007; vol. 32, 3: pp. 215-233.)

Here's the abstract:

Almost two centuries after the final demise of the Spanish Inquisition, its effects may still be present. Fear of the Inquisition may have affected endogamy patterns and other cultural attitudes of Catholic families in Chiloe Island in Southern Chile. More generally, the same fear may have eventually influenced the development of Chilean national culture. The article looks at several groups of people with Spanish surnames, from different historical periods. In particular, it explores colonial family trees, partly formed by Chiloe encomenderos and Catholic namesakes of Inquisition victims. Incidences of possibly Jewish Spanish surnames, and the different “crimes” investigated by the Inquisition tribunal in Lima, are examined. A new, short list of those most exposed to harassment and intimidation by the Inquisition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is put together. In its light, the article discusses the evolution of family trees, generation after generation.
This article compares a Jewish surname list by Pere Bonnin (Sangre Judia) with other lists such as that of a Lisbon 1639 auto-da-fe, and notes which names are common on Chiloe Island. Hojman's analysis is fascinating and offers clues to why or why not those surnames are on which list or in the population.

However ... don't go looking for the actual surnames - he uses none of them "to protect the privacy of the families." While a legitimate reason in this culture, it is still a source of terrible frustration to any researcher of Sephardic families.

Tracing the Tribe hopes that this small sample of a limited keyword search proves how useful the SAGE free access may be to researchers across the board, and not only to those of Jewish genealogy.

Sign up today and see what you can find.

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