CFP: “Promised Lands: Israel-Diaspora Relations and Beyond” Workshop for Young Scholars (Munich, May 23-25, 2016)

The young scholars’ workshop focuses on the relationship between the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide. This relationship is often conceptualized in ideologically charged terms. “Diaspora,” the term most frequently used for Jewish communities outside of Israel, describes these relations in terms of “center” and “periphery” and is filled with negative connotations going back to religious traditions of spiritual diminishment and exile. But beyond messianic utopias, the actual state plays a great variety of different roles among Jews and their communities. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has shaped and formed the perceptions and self-perceptions of Jews around the world. What is more, these communities influence and shape Israeli culture, society and politics. Migration in both directions is a key element of these relations as migrants serve as agents of transcultural exchange and considerably help shaping mutual perceptions. These complex and multilayered relations and their representations are at the center of the workshop.

The workshop offers young scholars from Europe in the field of Israel Studies a forum to discuss their work with their peers and senior scholars alike. Scholars on the doctoral and post-doctoral level (within three years after completing their Ph.D.) can expand their networks and help to foster a vivid academic community of Israel Studies in Europe.

The workshop is supported by the Israel Institute and will take place at the Center for Advanced Studies / LMU Munich, Mai 23-25, 2016 under the direction of Michael Brenner (LMU Munich), Daniel Mahla (LMU Munich) and Johannes Becke (Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg). Featured speakers include Derek Penslar (Oxford/Toronto) and Michael Berkowitz (UCL London).

To apply please send in an abstract of up to 300 words about the proposed paper and a CV until January 18, 2016 to: daniel.mahla@lrz.uni-muenchen.de.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

– Political, economic and social relations between the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide

– Israeli emigration and its representation

– The concept of Jewish Diaspora and its changes after 1948

– The meanings and significance of the concept of a “dispersed people” for Jews and Israel

– The roles of exile and home in Jewish weltanschauung

– The influence of the state on Jewish-Gentile relations outside of Israel

– The impact of the establishment of a Jewish state on world Jewry

– The relationship between global and local in Jewish history

-Comparative perspectives on diaspora nationalism and Homeland-Diaspora relations

– Israeli Arab/Palestinian conceptions of “Diaspora”

– Palestinian emigration and its representation

– Non-Jewish diaspora communities in Israel (e.g. Armenians)

– Jewish and non-Jewish migration into Israel

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