Eric Kline Silverman

Current and Planned Research Projects

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Research Projects (Current and Planned)

A Cultural History of Jewish Dress.  A book-length project that surveys the history of Jewish clothing, focusing on the European-American (Ashkenazic) tradition.  Topics include:

  • Ancient Israelite (biblical) clothing and Late Antiquity.

  • Rabbinic rules and comments about garments, modesty, and colors.

  • The "Yellow Badge" and Sartorial Scorn from Medieval Europe to the Holocaust.

  • Jewish Dress from the Enlightenment through the early 20th Century.

  • Women's clothing and hair-coverings today.

  • Unsuitable Suits; Or, How To Avoid Mixing Wool and Linen (shatnez).

  • Hassidic Hats and Coats.

  • Jewish Jewelry from the Synagogue Gift Shop to Tiffany's.

  • Contemporary designs and debates over Prayer Shawls (tallit).

  • Contemporary Yarmulke Designs and styles: From Satin with Gold Embossing to Harry Potter.

  • "Eat Me, I'm Kosher:" Youthful t-shirts, Immodest Eroticism, and Jewish Pride. 

  Research projects in various stages of planning:

  Fatherhood, Childhood, and Modernity in Melanesia.

  The Sepik River Photographs of Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead (book).

  From Crocodile Totems to "Cannibal Tours:" Moral Dilemmas of Modernity in Papua New Guinea.

  "Iatmul Character:" Fathering, Parenting, and Child-raising in New Guinea.  A Study Based on the   Unpublished 1938 Fieldnotes of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.

  Iatmul Art and Aesthetics.

  Funerary Ritual in New Guinea