What would you like Perspectives to be?

Naomi Brenner

The Ohio State University

I vaguely remember AJS Perspectives arriving in the mail in the past, often with a cover intriguing enough to earn it a spot on my "to-read" pile. But the pile kept growing, and Perspectives kept sinking lower and lower. Somehow, I never did more than flip through a few pages. Spurred by the invitation to comment in this issue, I finally perused several issues from recent years and was pleasantly surprised to see a variety of topics and voices that made for thought-provoking reading. I particularly appreciate the readable articles from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Since I have resolved to actually pay attention to future issues of Perspectives, I would like to focus my own suggestions primarily on form. There are many print publications related to Jewish Studies in one way or another, as my "to-read" pile can attest. But even as digital access to print publications grows, I am not familiar with a forum for Jewish Studies that really takes advantage of digital media in a sustained way. I can imagine a digital Perspectives that would gradually become an interactive resource for research and teaching. What if Perspectives launched moderated conversations related to issue themes and/or individual articles? Invited members to post short blog posts or reflections in between issues? Spearheaded projects using Google Maps and other collaborative platforms? Developed translations and annotations of primary sources or excerpts from key texts? Or simply integrated audio, visual, and audiovisual resources online? Cultivating an online presence takes skill, resources, and time. But in an academic field still dominated by print production, I would be excited to see a new, dynamic, and experimental digital presence in Jewish Studies.