The Department of History at the University of Vienna and the Institute of Austrian Historical Research invite proposals for papers to be presented at the “Multiple Jewries? New Perspectives on the History of Jews in the Habsburg Empire from the 18th Century to 1918” featuring original research on the history of Jews in the Habsburg Empire. Only few Jewish histories are as multifaceted as the history of Jews in the Habsburg Empire. The vague term “Austrian Jewry” not only includes the more or less acculturated Jews of Vienna, the Austrian and Bohemian Lands and Hungary, but also parts of cosmopolitan Italian Jewry, the Jews of rural and poor Galicia and Bukovina and since the end of the 19th century the primarily Sephardic Jewry of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Research on the history of Jews in the Habsburg Empire increasingly takes into account this spatial and topical diversity and during the last years the focus of research has shifted from the center to the peripheries. Seminal works on the history of Jews in Central Europe, e.g. Tyrol, Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, and Bukovina have been published. Topical emphasis has been laid e.g. on Jews as agents of modernization, Jews and the nationalities question, the history of Jewish women, and Jews as objects of collective memories.
The complexity of the history of Jews in the Habsburg Empire might have been the reason why Marsha Rozenblit’s sophisticated dictum of the “tripartite identity” of fin-de-siècle Habsburg Jewry was so far the only attempt to conceptualize a master narrative of the history of the Jews in the Habsburg Empire. As a consequence of this lack of a common denominator, the history of “Austrian Jews” is often inconsiderately subsumed in the category “German-speaking Jewry”. Hence, overshadowed by German Jewry, its impact on major European movements such as the Haskalah and European history in general – not to mention the historiography of the Habsburg Empire – are underestimated. This conference aims to discuss this scholarly pattern by focusing on the connectedness and conflicts between Jewries in the Habsburg Empire. It seeks to develop new perspectives on the history of Jews in the Habsburg Empire and intends to explore the possibilities for a synergetic history of the Jews in the Habsburg Empire which is more than the mere sum of individual histories.
Papers are invited to engage with one or several of the following themes:
- Jewish inter-communal relations
- Comparison of Jewries in the Habsburg Empire
- Educational, liturgical, literary, musical, architectural and artistic trends within Jewry
- Transcultural and transnational entanglements of Jewish culture
- Between imperial loyalty and national loyalties: A Jewish dilemma
- Repercussions between center and periphery
- Jewish migration within the Habsburg Empire
- Jewish experience of the weakening and end of the Empire
- The representation of Jews in Habsburg History and the Habsburg Empire in Jewish History
Please send a proposal (300 words), along with a short CV to Martina Steer email@example.com by March 1, 2014. Any further queries may be sent to the same address. Applications will be notified by April 1.