1819 – 2019: Two centuries of Wissenschaft des Judentums – Wissenschaft in a Grey Area:
16-20 June 2019
Young Scholars Grants
In 2019, the discipline of Jewish Studies will look back on two hundred years of perseverance. The Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg in cooperation with the Verband der Judaisten in Deutschland e.V. and the University of Heidelberg provides up to 20 grants to young scholars on Master’s, Doctoral, and Post-Doctoral level to contribute to the conference on occasion of the bicentenary of Wissenschaft / Jewish Studies.
The roots of Wissenschaft des Judentums and Jewish Studies stretch back to the Verein zur Verbesserung des Zustandes der Juden im deutschen Bundesstaate (“Association for the improvement of the Jews in the German Confederation”), which was formed in Berlin in fall 1819 and which, for the purposes of inner reform of Judaism, laid the groundwork for a program of scientifically based self-reflection and reconstruction. The later realization of this circle as the Wissenschaft des Judentums extended far beyond its initial purpose and further beyond Germany’s borders.
While recalling the wreckage of the years between 1933-1945, the path from the Wissenschaft des Judentums to Jewish Studies as we know it today has often been read as a success story. To a great extent, however, this reading is also politically trite. Indeed, those looking closer would find that this merely fosters a narrative of complacency, which is ultimately dismissive of the unfinished rudiments, open questions, broken careers and forgotten achievements, as well as unsolved problems of other disciplines in their relation to Jewish Studies and even to Judaism itself. For want of acceptance into other disciplines, universities and general society the Wissenschaft des Judentums operated long into its darkest years between 1933-1945 in a grey area. Even after Jewish Studies have been placed inside the universities today much has yet to be resolved.
Two hundred years after the genesis of Jewish Studies, the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg, which, also in 2019, will celebrate the anniversary of its 40th year, seeks to take this grey area into account and thereby extends an invitation to join an international conference from 16.-20. June 2019 in Heidelberg.
Entitled ‘1819 – 2019 : Wissenschaft des Judentums – Wissenschaft in a Grey Area’ , this conference deals with the retrospection, methods and open questions together with the enduring gray areas in both self-conception and external perception. Especially requested are proposals pertaining to the history of science and influence, such as today’s patterns of relationships to other disciplines, to scholars’ biographies or to future methods or prospective research questions. Especially welcome are innovative forms of presentation in addition to a conclusive concept.
All lectures shall be given in English. Contributions to the volume can be submitted in English or French, German, Hebrew and Polish together with, a detailed English abstract of 500 words. Manuscripts are due for print by 31 August 2019.
Applications can be sent to email@example.com by 30 November 2018 to be decided by a selection committee. Submissions must include:
1. an abstract of no more than 300 words;
2. a C.V. including a list of publications of 2 pages;
3. (for doctoral students and other participants without Ph.D.) two recommendations;
4. as well as official affirmation that the contribution will be submitted on schedule for publication. All manuscripts are due by August 31, 2019.
Funding provided, the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg will take over travel costs proportionally (up to 200 Euro domestic, 300 Euro from EU-countries, 500 Euro from oversees), as well as lodging for up to five days and kosher catering throughout the conference.