Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitism in International Perspective

October 21-23, 2015
Conference at the German Historical Institute Paris
Conveners: The Max Weber Foundation and its institutes - The German Historical Institutes in Paris, London, Rome, Moscow, Warsaw and Washington, the German Centre for the history of Art in Paris, the Orient Institute Istanbul - and the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technische Universität Berlin

  • Call for Papers

    Research on the history of anti-Semitism still attracts a great deal of interest, not only because of the Nazi regime and the Holocaust (1933-1945) and the radicalisation of traditional anti-Semitic ideas and practices in the Third Reich. Recent developments, too, have given rise to a deeper engagement with the history, roots and manifestations of anti-Judaism. Anti-Semitic attitudes still exist in Western European societies, often dressed up as leftist anti-capitalism or critiques of Israeli policies, while in Eastern Europe traditional resentments, sometimes based on religious foundations, have re-emerged since the fall of communism. In contemporary Muslim societies anti-Semitic ideas are spread by drawing on European traditions ("The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", etc), which attract growing interest in the context of the Middle East conflict.

    To understand both current and National Socialist varieties of anti-Semitism, it is necessary to understand the emergence of new forms of anti-Judaism in the nineteenth century, culminating in the coining of the term "anti-Semitism" (Antisemitismus) in Berlin in 1879, which shortly afterwards entered all European languages. An investigation of the phenomenon in comparative and transnational perspective, which has been only rarely attempted, promises to provide new insights. This will be the approach of the conference to be held at the German Historical Institute Paris and organised in cooperation with the other institutes of the Max Weber Foundation (the German Historical Institutes in London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Warsaw and Washington, the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, and the Orient Institute Istanbul) as well as the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung) at the Technical University Berlin and other partners. The aim of the conference is to study, in an international perspective, the various levels, milieus, actors, and forms of anti-Semitism in the nineteenth century, some of which, in different contexts, have survived or been revived in the twenty-first century.

    The conference aims to bring together senior and junior scholars, to whom this call for papers is primarily addressed. Possible topics (all of which should be examined in transnational perspective) include, but are not limited to the following:

    • anti-Semitism in the völkisch and nationalist milieus
    • anti-Semitism and the Christian churches
    • anti-Semitism and the Left
    • economic anti-Semitism
    • nineteenth century precursors of anti-Semitism
    • anti-Semitism and gender
    • institutional and administrative anti-Semitism (government authorities, army, universities)
    • anti-Semitism and violence
    • anti-Semitism in theatre, art, music and literature
    • anti-Semitic cartoons, postcards and everyday objects
    • Jewish reactions and resistance to anti-Semitism

    Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief academic CV to Mareike König und Oliver Schulz by September 30, 2014. Junior scholars are especially encouraged to apply. Conference languages are German, English and French. Conference presentations will be translated by simultaneous translation.

    The conference will be accompanied by an academic blog, and its proceedings will be made available as a live video stream. A peer-reviewed conference publication is planned.