Performing the Jewish Archive

AHRC logo

York logo

Sydney logo

Madison logo

About the Project

In this section:


During the long 20th century, displacement has affected the musical, theatrical and literary output of Jewish artists in myriad ways. Many works are thought to have been lost or have, until recently, languished in obscurity.

‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ is motivated by a desire to recover and engage anew with these creative artefacts, and to stimulate the creation of new works to re-animate existing archival repositories. We aim to theorise and reconceptualise the Jewish archive as ‘co-textual’: all artefacts are components of a non-hierarchical, non-linear system that destabilises the relationship between past, present and future, origin and diaspora.


Mission Statement

Performing the Jewish Archive’s mission is to deliver an outstanding project that:

  1. Plays a prominent role in the ongoing debates surrounding archives, performance, memory and Jewish culture
  2. Engages with archives in new, creative and innovative ways
  3. Challenges the hierarchical relationships between archives, artworks and performance
  4. Creates a new and sustainable archive for the future


Aims and Objectives

  1. To explore archives that have recently come to light (in South Africa, Prague, Australia, USA and Finland) and seek out archives that have yet to be located.  Already-established networks will be crucial in helping the team to follow existing leads in search of further archives.
  2. To disseminate the results of our research through scholarly outputs for academic beneficiaries and performances and community education projects for a wider-public audience.
  3. To theorise and reconceptualize Jewish archives.  This will be achieved through engagement with several types of archives such as creative works, traditional archival documentation and ethnographic archive. The focus will be on ensuing that no one archive is privileged over another, thereby creating a non-hierarchical and non-linear system.
  4. To develop methods of audience response testing which will help to determine how successful our performances are in generating audience engagement.
  5. To create a new, sustainable archive for the future and pathways for the perpetuation of our scholarly and performance related outcomes.  This will be done through the creation of an interactive public web resource featuring an online database of our project performances with links to supporting archival artefacts, associated conference/symposium presentations, publications and audience response data.

© Copyright Leeds 2019