PaRDeS 2022: “They took to the sea” – Jewish History and Culture in Maritime Perspective(s)

Bjoern Siegel Announcement
Subject Fields
European History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Maritime History / Studies, Social History / Studies

PaRDeS 2022:
“They took to the sea” –
Jewish History and Culture in Maritime Perspective(s)

Editors: Björn Siegel/Markus Krah

In 1964 Samuel Tolkowsky published his book “They took to the Sea” and offered an early compendium on Jewish maritime activities throughout the ages. “It will be obvious, therefore, that in this first attempt to present an account of Jewish maritime activities since the conquest of Canaan by the Hebrew tribes till the present,” the author wanted to draw attention to a hitherto neglected and practically unknown aspect of Jewish history. It was “his hope and fervent wish that others may follow in his footsteps and endeavor to fill in the gaps left in his story.” Almost fifty decades later this volume of PaRDeS seeks to reexamine Jewish history from maritime perspectives and draw new attention to current research on Jews and the sea. The images of Noah’s arche, King Salomon’s adventures at sea or the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea immediately come into mind, however, they only illustrate a few aspects of Jewish maritime activities. The relation between Jews and the sea has to be seen in a much broader spatial and temporal framework in order to understand the overall importance of such a maritime turn onto Jewish history and culture.

Therefore, the journal PaRDeS is seeking contributions that explore Jewish experiences with and within the maritime world and expand our knowledge on historical and cultural developments in connection with the sea. Such an approach enables us to draw a broader picture of Jewish history and culture and reevaluate historical narratives of Jewish activities, histories and imaginations.

We welcome contributions from fields including but not limited to history, sociology, anthropology, political studies and cultural studies, as well as contributions focusing on historiography, archeology, and literature pertaining to the fusion of Jewish and Maritime studies. Potential contributions may focus on any locality and time period, related to Jewish maritime activities, including seafaring, port activities, migration experiences, or to maritime influences on Jewish history, culture, and literature.

Potential papers might focus on the following (not exhaustive) topics:

  • Jewish Seafaring and Jewish maritime activities,

  • maritime migration experiences,

  • maritime shared spaces and Jewish/Non-Jewish encounters and interactions,

  • the sea as a space of legal and political conflicts as well as violence,

  • the sea as an imagined open, transnational or national space,

  • ports as places of economic, cultural and/or national interests,

  • maritime material objects, art, creative production,

  • maritime spaces and historical narratives,

  • reevaluation of ancient Jewish maritime traditions,

  • Zionist imaginations of a national maritime space/revival,

  • the sea in Jewish literature and culture,

  • the sea in Jewish religion.

The contributions (in English) will be limited to 30.000 to 35.000 characters including spaces, that reflect the breadth and diversity of the field of Maritime Jewish Studies. All submissions will undergo a blind peer-review process. Proposals for papers (max. 500 words) and a short CV (max. 100 words) should be submitted to the editors, Björn Siegel ( and Markus Krah (, by January 6, 2022. The candidates will be notified by January 15, 2022. The complete manuscripts will be due on May 15, 2022.

PaRDeS is an interdisciplinary journal that ensures its quality through a blind peer review; all articles published in PaRDeS are indexed in Rambi: Index of Articles on Jewish Studies. PaRDeS is published online in open access and in print. Previous issues are available at this link:

Contact Information

Dr. Björn Siegel, Institute for the History of the German Jews, Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg/Germany (

Dr. Markus Krah, University of Potsdam (

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