Jews and ‘small nations’ in Eastern Europe: cultural autonomy and nation-building in the western borderlands of Russia (1905-1939)
University of Southampton, UK
July 1-2, 2015
Deadline for submitting abstracts: March 1, 2015
The Parkes Institute and the University of Southampton are hosting an international workshop on a particularly understudied area of Jewish/non-Jewish relations in Eastern Europe: the relations between Jews and so-called ‘small nations’. The participants will investigate the contribution of these former ‘peasant nations’ – Belorussia, Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia – to Jewish history and culture.
This workshop is the first exploratory step of a larger international research project. The aim of the latter will be to question the persisting ‘imperial model’ that underlies much Jewish historiography and has led historians to focus primarily on relations between Jews and only the most dominant social and cultural groups – the Poles and the Russians. This project aims to scrutinize how the ‘small nations’ and the Jews related to each other before and after the creation of the new nation-states post-1918.
Some possible topics might include:
The position of the Jewish, Lithuanian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Latvian nationalists and intellectuals on the minority question before 1914.
The representation of national groups after 1905 in emerging national literatures, the press and the arts.
The strategic and political alliances of each national group.
The impact of the war and the impact of the German occupation on these alliances and on national projects.
The legal rights of national minorities in the new republics between 1918 and 1939.
Institutional opportunities for collaboration in culture, education, scholarship.
Cultural transfers and mutual representations.
The shortcomings and limitations of the national experiment in each republic.
The results of national-cultural autonomy and minority rights.
Local factors and different periodizations, in particular, a comparison between Soviet and non-Soviet temporalities and contexts
Guidelines for submission
To apply, please send a short proposal (no more than 300 words) and a CV by the 1st March 2015 to Dr Claire Le Foll firstname.lastname@example.org .
Accommodation will be provided. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for funding for your travel expenses. Papers will be published in a special issue of Jewish Culture and History.
Information & contacts
Claire Le Foll
University of Southampton