The Institute for the Humanities New Model Humanities grant program for U-M tenured and tenure-track faculty supports experimentation with and planning for new concepts of hybrid scholarly publication that seek to go beyond the legacy print system of book publishing.
Shachar Pinsker's New Model Humanities grant supported his project "Mapping Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture." The project examines the link between cafés and modern Jewish culture in a comparative way, and reconsiders the influential notion of “the public sphere.”
Pinsker employed a hybrid model of publication, with part of the research and analysis presented in his book, A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture (NYU Press, 2018). But crucial aspects of the project could not be communicated in a traditional, linear humanities monograph, so a digital, open source, media-rich tool was created for mapping and reconstructing the network of urban cafés using digital sources and platforms in non-linear, multi-modal, and interactive ways.
The project website encourages the viewer to examine the confluence between cafés, the urban environment, and the creativity of multilingual Jewish communities through both linear and non-linear exploration. Viewers can take a guided tour of the cafés, cities, and important themes of the project, or wander the site on their own by clicking through the place, communities, or time tabs. Explore the site at https://mapping.judaic.lsa.umich.edu/.
Much of this text is excerpted from "Report on New Model Humanities Publication Grant: Mapping Urban Cafés and Modern Jewish Culture."