Empire - Community - Self. Eastern European Jewry between Imperial Powers

Empire - Community - Self. Eastern European Jewry between Imperial Powers

Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University; Organizers: Svetlana Natkovich (Simon Dubnow Institute), Israel Bartal (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Semion Goldin (The Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Simon Dubnow Institute, Goldschmidtstr. 28, 04103 Leipzig
From - Until
04.07.2016 - 05.07.2016
Simon-Dubnow-Institut für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur an der Universität Leipzig

Following the three partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772, 1793, and 1795), the Eastern European Jewish community found itself torn between three expanding imperial powers – the Russian Empire, Habsburg Austria, and the Prussian Kingdom. A community with common religious, economic, and administrative background was arbitrarily divided, and subjected to different systems of governance, culture, and population management. This situation created “laboratory conditions” for the examination of relationships between hegemony and minority, state and community, sovereign power and subject, law, self-perceptions and the practice of everyday life. In all three political frameworks, Jews functioned as a target population upon which new technologies of power were tested and imposed. On the one hand, they played a pivotal role as a foil in the formation of consciousness of the dominant groups of population; on the other, they were shaped both as community and individuals by the distinct set of cultural, administrative, and economic conditions created by each political system. The aim of the conference is to pinpoint the network of interactions between the imperial powers and the evolving patterns of Jewish communal and individual identification. Papers presented in it seek to examine one or several sides in the triangle of relations between power, community, and individuals in the Eastern and Central European Jewish context.

The conference is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and supported by the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The conference is free and open to the public. But to keep track of numbers, people interested in attending should register by emailing Svetlana Natkovich


Monday, 4 July 2016

10:00 Registration

10:30 Welcome and Introduction
Raphael Gross (Leipzig)
Svetlana Natkovich (Leipzig)

10:45 Imperial Encounters: Political Boundaries and Cultural Diffusion
Chair: Zohar Shavit (Tel Aviv)

Paul Reitter (Columbus, Oh.)
Salomon Maimon’s Multinationalism: From the Pre-Partition Polish Commonwealth to the Prussian Kingdom

Israel Bartal (Jerusalem)
Changing Loyalties: Jewish Enlightenment and the Imperial Experience

David Schick (München)
Two Lives under Tsar and King Compared: The Biographies of Markus Silberstein and Eduard Lasker

12:15 Lunch Break

13:30 Imperial Politics and Jewish Self-Understanding
Chair: Markus Kirchhoff (Leipzig)

Alexey Miller (Saint Petersburg)
Imperial Russia's Jewish Policies before the Advance of Modern Antisemitism in the 1870s

Yaacov Shavit (Tel Aviv)
“This Liberation Was Wrought by a Decree of Reign-King”: Nineteenth-Century East-European Jewish Historians Interpret Russian History

Semion Goldin (Jerusalem)
Russian Liberal Imperialism and the “Jewish Question”: Petr Struve, Simon Dubnov and Vladimir (Zeev) Jabotinsky in Russian Imperial Context

15:00 Coffee Break

15:15 Law and Order: Legal Conditions and Jewish Identifications
Chair: Jürgen Heyde (Leipzig)

Rachel Manekin (Maryland)
The Austrian Legislator and Jewish Divorce Laws: From Rejection to Accommodation

Yvonne Kleinmann (Halle/Saale)
Jewish Communities and Imperial Administration: Interactions on the Legal Level during the Nineteenth-Century

Ofer Dynes (Cambridge, Mass.)
Tales of Jurisdiction: Polish Jews and the Concept of Imperial Law, 1811–1848

16:45 End of First Day

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

9:15 Between Class and Nation
Chair: Robert Zwarg (Leipzig)

ChaeRan Y. Freeze/Gregory L. Freeze (Waltham, Mass.)
Becoming Russian Aristocrats: The Poliakovs in Imperial Russia

Svetlana Natkovich (Leipzig)
“What is Permissible for Jupiter is not Permissible for an Ox”: Haskalah as a Class Phenomenon

Alex Valdman (Beer Sheva)
A Nationalist-Integrationist Elite? Self-Perception, Practice, and Ideology of the Jewish-Russian Intelligentsia

10:45 Coffee Break

11:15 Dwellers, Settlers, Citizens, and Patriots: Placing Jews in Imperial Spaces
Chair: Nicolas Berg (Leipzig)

Cornelia Aust (Mainz)
Local, Regional, Transnational: The Jewish Economic Elite in Early Nineteenth-Century Warsaw

Dimitry Shumsky (Jerusalem)
Local Patriotism and Jewish Nationalism in the Late Russian Empire: The Case of Vladimir Jabotinsky's Odessan Identity

Philipp Nielsen (Berlin)
Representatives of “the Germanic Idea” and “Bulwarks against Russiandom”: Eastern Europe’s Rural Jews in the German(-Jewish) Imagination during the First World War

12:45 Lunch Break

14:00 Sunset of Empires: Imperial Paradigms and Post-Imperial Conditions
Chair: Elisabeth Gallas (Leipzig)

Dina Gusejnova (Sheffield)
The Status of the Jews during the Negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, 1917–1918

Roy Greenwald (Beer Sheva)
Pogrom Literature and the Disintegration of the Self: The Case of L. Shapiro

Marina Mogilner (Chicago, Ill.)
Racializing Jewishness in the Post-Imperial Context: The ARA Relief Campaign in the Volga Region, Jewish Anthropometric Statistics and the Scientific Promise of Integration

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Concluding Panel
Constitutive Others: Jews and Imperial Discourses, Empires and the Formation of Modern Jewish Selves
Chair: Gregory L. Freeze (Waltham, Mass.)

Panelists: Marina Mogilner (Chicago, Ill.), Dina Gusejnova (Sheffield), Israel Bartal (Jerusalem)

17:30 End of Conference

Contact (announcement)

Svetlana Natkovich

Goldschmidtstr. 28
04103 Leipzig


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