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A Second Emancipation? “Philosemitism” and the Jewish Condition in Postwar...
Tue 1 March 2016, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT
Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar
A Second Emancipation? “Philosemitism” and the Jewish Condition in Postwar Europe
Speaker: Professor Daniel Cohen, Rice University, Texas
Date: 1 March 2016 Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm Venue: Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DQ
What is “philosemitism” and what role did it play in Western Europe from the end of World War Two to 1989, and in the European Union since its inception?
“Philosemitism” is a concept fraught with ambiguities and often dangerously close to antisemitic discourse. Yet new theological, political and cultural attitudes towards Jewishness in the aftermath of the Holocaust have marked a radical departure from the pre-war past. Understood in this way, “philosemitism” is a central feature of postwar European history. Despite the persistence and recent intensification of antisemitism, Jewishness moved closer to the mainstream of European life. The “Jewish Century”, to follow Yuri Slezkin’s apt formulation, is not merely a triangular story of Zionist, Soviet Communist or American trajectories: postwar Europe is a no less important site of Jewish normalization.
Pears Institute lunchtime seminars provide an opportunity to hear and discuss new work in progress from an invited speaker in an informal setting. We cannot provide lunch but you are welcome to bring your own.