Wandering Jews or Jewish Migrations? How Jewish Scholars Conceptualized Migration

Monday, May 20, 2019, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Lecture at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
Speaker: Tobias Brinkmann (Penn State University)

Click on image to enlarge or print (pdf) the conference poster.

Shifting centers and migration have long shaped Jewish history – and that of most other people around the world. Yet the period between 1880 and 1950 witnessed movements unprecedented in Jewish history. In his keynote lecture Tobias Brinkmann (Penn State) will discuss how Jewish migration scholars helped to establish the field of migration studies. Most were themselves migrants and stateless refugees who fled the Russian Civil War and Nazi persecution. Several looked beyond the specific experiences of Jewish migrants, refugees and Holocaust survivors. The specific experiences of Jews between 1880 and 1950 can serve as a key to better understand and address the predicament of permanently displaced and marginalized groups in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The lecture is part of a three-day-conference “In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s)” which examines the experience of Jewish refugees who found a haven — but not new homes — in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. For most of these individuals, the end of the war did not mean an end to life in transit. To the contrary: after a period of temporary settlement, they found themselves not only once again on the move, but also in a new, more ambiguous situation.

More than 30 experts from Germany, Great Britain, India, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, and the United States will present and discuss their research on the particularities of (usually) involuntary Jewish migration from and between countries of the global South that have received little scholarly attention thus far. For more information, contact events.west@ghi-dc.org.

The conference is the second in a series organized by the German Historical Institutes in Washington and London in cooperation with the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI Washington at UC Berkeley and the Max Weber Stiftung Branch Offices in Delhi and Beijing.