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Alice Weinreb, Loyola University

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Jewish Anorexia: The Anorexic Body and the Holocaust Body in the 1970s and 1980s, Alice Weinreb, Loyola University

This essay examines medical and popular representations of anorexia to argue that the unprecedented postwar explosion of the disease in the US, West Germany and Israel was discursively connected to tensions over the post-Holocaust Jewish body. I argue that the distinctive ways in which anorexia was constructed in terms of race (white), class (middle-class), and gender (female) reflect a larger discomfort with the meaning and legacy of the Holocaust in late Cold War society, and the place of the Jewish body in the larger social body.