SECTION ON SOUTHEASTERN EUROPEAN JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE AT THE XITH EAJS CONGRESS
KRAKÓW, POLAND, JULY 15-19, 2018
The history and cultural heritage of Jews living in the territories of Southeastern Europe is an understudied area in both Jewish and European Studies. Although this fascinating multi-ethnic and -religious region is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Central and Eastern European World, part of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, and including Ashkenazi-Sephardi fault line, it hasn’t received sufficient scholarly attention so far. Compared to the research of Jewish communities of Poland, Romania or Hungary, for instance, the geo-political complexity of the Southeastern European Jewry frequently resulted in fragmented scholarship, often of local character, and dealing with narrowly defined linguistic, historical, or social aspects.
As the result of the Holocaust and emigration, the not very large Jewish communities in the region were drastically reduced after World War Two – yet, in spite of the small numbers, a researcher faces the complex fabric of communities and languages of the surrounding cultures. So far, this seems to have deterred scholars. Moreover, post-WW II communist regimes did not encourage critical and broad approaches to the topic. As an example, in Tito’s Yugoslavia the Jewish communities enjoyed relatively favourable conditions and were afforded a degree of autonomy not encountered elsewhere in the communist world. Nevertheless the research and publications dedicated to the local Jewish history, customs and the tragedy of the Holocaust were primarily carried out internally, by the Jewish institutions, and not by the general academic world which was supposed to support the ideology of “brotherhood and unity”. The social instability and the civil war that raged through the region in the late 20th century further stalled the critical research of the Jewish history and life in the area.
Due to the recent socio-political changes in Southeastern Europe, the research, publication and teaching, dealing with the Jewish presence in the area, gradually appeared and tends to be multidisciplinary and transnational. Nowadays, a number of local researchers, but, as the result of globalization and emigration, also in countries such as UK, Austria, Germany, Poland, Israel, Canada and the USA, contribute to by now growing field.
The section of the 11th EAJS Congress in Kraków (15-19 July 2018) dedicated to “Southeastern European Jewish History and Culture” welcomes proposals from various academic disciplines and cultural contexts. Thematic areas may include, but are not limited to:
- History of Sephardic or Ashkenazi communities, families or individuals
- Religion and folklore
- Language and Literature of Sephardi or Ashkenazi Jews
- Contemporary Jewish writers
- Jewish Visual culture and art
- Jewish subjects in modern literature and film
- Jews in World War I
- World War II, Holocaust and its aftermath
- Jews and the communist regime
- Jewish revival and the identity after the civil war of the 1990s
Please send abstracts of proposed papers (up to 300 words) to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Every proposal must include a title, the name and affiliation of the participant, e-mail address and telephone number, as well as the title of the section “Southeastern European Jewish History and Culture”. The suggested language of papers is English.
The deadline for paper abstracts is 15th November 2017. Confirmation of acceptance/rejection of papers 15th January 2018. For conference fees and further information please consult: