restricted access Against the Dialectic of Nation: Abraham Cahan and Desire’s Spectral Jew

This article aims to reimagine Jewish American literary history outside a nationalist framework that assumes Jewish American literature represents a recognizable historical subject. Free of the historicist expectation that its job is the coordination of literature with a historical Jewish subject, Jewish American literary history would not disregard the problem of identity, but would function as a counterdiscourse of identity. In this essay I focus on Abraham Cahan’s “The Imported Bridegroom,” which subverts the expectation of identity’s self-evidence, making available a non-nationalist Jewish American literary history oriented not by recognition and continuity, but by desire and emergence.