Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Courses at the Dubnow Institute, Winter Semester 2019/20

Module 03-HIS-0410 »European History of the Jews«

This module entails two seminars, that can be selected from the three offered; altogether 4 semester hours.

 

The courses comprise the module »European History of the Jews« (03-HIS-0410) in the MA program »Medieval and Modern History« in the Department of History. This module antails two seminars, that can be selected from the three offered; altogether 4 semester hours. The courses are open to students registered in the MA program »European Studies« of the Institute for Cultural Studies, the Department of Book Studies, and (upon consultation) the Faculty of Law at Leipzig University. The courses moreover form part of the offer for students in the MA program »History and Politics of the Twentieth Century« at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.

 

Jewish Publishing Cultures. The History of Books as a History of Knowledge

 

Instructor: Dr. Arndt Engelhardt

Seminar

Time: Tuesday, 11.15 – 12.45 (2 SWS)

Venue: Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, Goldschmidtstr. 28

First Session: 29.10.2019

 

Description: Since antiquity, Jewish life worlds were regulated by Holy Scripture. In modernity, the material conditions in the diaspora changed, leading to the emergence of a publishing culture. In the nineteenth century, a new public sphere began to crystallize that redefined traditional knowledge while incorporating secular elements. This led to the establishment of new spheres of communication and canonical systems of knowledge that stood in competition to one another and in which questions of belonging were negotiated. This seminar examines Jewish publishing houses as agents of political, social, and cultural changes that closely accompanied emancipation. The history of Jewish publishing is thus presented as a field for understanding a cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries determined by modern technologies and arsenals of knowledge.

 

Literature: Zeev Gries, The Book in the Jewish World, 1700–1900, Oxford/Portland 2007; Karen Auerbach, »Verlagswesen«, in: Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur, hg. von Dan Diner, 2016; Kenneth B. Moss, »Printing and Publishing after 1800«, in: YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

 

A course reader will be distributed.

 

Number of participants: limited to 25. As a prerequisite for credit, participants are required to read English texts and to prepare a paper for oral presentation to the seminar.

 

Available to students in the special pensioners' study program: no

 

Show Trials: Circumstances, Functions, and Consequences

 

Instructor: PD Dr. Jan Gerber

Seminar

Time: Thursday, 11.15 – 12.45 (2 SWS)

Venue: Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, Goldschmidtstr. 28

First Session: 17.10.2019

 

Description: At the beginning of the Cold War, Eastern Europe witnessed a series of sensational show trials that followed in the footsteps of the Moscow Trials of the 1930s, peaking with the Slánský trial in Prague in November 1952. Rudolf Slánský, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, was accused along with thirteen other senior functionaries of the party and state apparatus of having conspired against the socialist order. The trial pivoted on the notion of »cosmopolitanism«, which was to have lethal consequences. Eleven of the accused were sentenced to death, with the remaining three receiving life sentences. In the conflicts erupting between the communist parties in the wake of the schism between Stalin and Tito, this concept of »cosmopolitanism« functioned as a code to demarcate the vilified cadre as having a Jewish background. In the Slánský trial, it became an explicit point of discussion that eleven of the accused came from Jewish families.

 

This seminar is dedicated to examining the events from 1949 to 1953 from a discursive, empirical, and ideological point of view. Of primary interest here is the Slánský trial in Prague, while also focusing on other pertinent cases in Eastern Europe such as the Rajk trial in Budapest and the Kostov trial in Sofia, the secret trials against the leading members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in Moscow, and the Merker trial in East Berlin. The seminar is moreover dedicated to the circumstances preceding as well as the consequences following this series of events. This includes the history of exile of communist cadres, the early history of the Cold War, the nationalization of communism , and the significance of antisemitic worldviews.

 

 

Literature: Introductory texts will be provided at the beginning of the semester.

 

Number of participants: limited to 25. As a prerequisite for credit, participants are required to read and participate in the seminar in English.

 

Available to students in the special pensioners' study program: no

 

Exhibiting. German Colonial Racism and Nazi Antisemitism

 

Instructors: Prof. Dr. Raphael Gross/Fritz Backhaus

Seminar

Time (block seminar): 30./31.01.2020

Venue: Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, Goldschmidtstr. 28

First Session: 29.11.2019

 

Description: This seminar discusses how one should present racist and antisemitic attitudes and objects in museums. A particular focus lies on the historical relationship between antisemitism and colonial racism. This discussion is central to the new permanent exhibition of the German Historical Museum: How should German colonial history be presented here in future and in what relationship should it stand to the presentation of Nazi history and the Shoah? To this end, the seminar examines texts by Hannah Arendt, George L. Mosse, and recent historiography, while working particularly closely with objects.

 

Literature: George L. Mosse, Die Geschichte des Rassismus in Europa, Frankfurt a. M. 1990; Hannah Arendt, Elemente und Ursprünge Totaler Herrschaft, München 1986; Anna Danilina, Die moralische Ökonomie der »inneren Kolonie«. Genossenschaft, Reform und Rasse in der deutschen Siedlungsbewegung (1893–1926), in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft, Sonderheft 26 (2019): Moral Economies, 103–132; Pascal Grosse, What Does German Colonialism Have to Do with National Socialism? A Conceptual Framework, in: Eric Ames u. a. (Hg.), Germany’s Colonial Pasts, London 2005, 115–134.

 

Number of participants: limited to 25. A prerequisite for participation is the readiness to hold a brief presentation. Topics will be assigned in the introductory session on 29 November 2019.

 

Available to students in the special pensioners' study program: no

 

Registration: Registration is done online via AlmaWeb. For questions: sebastian.hauck(at)uni-leipzig.de

 

Assessment: Exam, presentation or other

 

 

Bachelor of Arts History/Master of Arts Medieval and Modern History, 03-HIS-0312/03-HIS-0511

Basic Problems of Jewish and General History in the Modern Era

 

Ruptures and New Beginnings: Jews and the Foundation of New States in the Twentieth Century

 

Instructors: Prof. Dr. Jörg Deventer/Dr. Markus Kirchhoff

Colloquium

Time: Thursday, 17.15 – 18.45 (every other week)

Venue: Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, Goldschmidtstr. 28

 

Description: The emergence of numerous new sovereign states was one of the most important and defining processes of the twentieth century. On the basis of a selection of case studies, this research colloquium focuses on the Jewish aspects and questions related to nation-building and state formation. A major focus is on the creation of new state formations in Central and Eastern Europe through to the Middle East in the aftermath of World War I. Of special interest is the impact of these processes on Jews and other minorities in the new states emerging from the multi-ethnic empires of the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Ottomans. Another focus lies on the foundation of states after World War II – as well as the question of the extent to which these reflected the experiences of the interwar period and the Holocaust.

 

Available to students in the special pensioners' study program: yes

 

Information about presenters and time schedule are shortly available here.

 

Registration:Registration is done online via AlmaWeb. For questions: sebastian.hauck(at)uni-leipzig.de