From Pre-modern Corporation to Post-modern Pluralism

Goldschmidtstr. 28
Simon-Dubnow-Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University
22.05.2004 - 24.05.2004
Tobias Brinkmann

Fourth International Conference of the Simon Dubow Institute

From Pre-modern Corporation to Post-modern Pluralism – Diasporic Cultures and Institutions of the Jews between Empire and Nation State

The Fourth International Conference of the Simon Dubow Institute, "From Pre-modern Corporation to Post-modern Pluralism – Diasporic Cultures and Institutions of the Jews between Empire and Nation State," will attempt to examine the elements of empire and diaspora, territoriality and transterritoriality by reference to the history of Jewish institutions, politics and diplomacy. This will involve tracing transformations of pre-modern into post-modern forms, or what are conceived as ‘corporative’ forms, by looking at individuals such as Simon Dubnow, Otto Bauer, Horace Kallen, Israel Zangwill as well as others, and at a Jewish history of institutions from the early modern period and extending on into fuller-blown modernity. Moreover, connections between these forms and their associated political and cultural programs will be examined in the context of macro-concepts such as empire and diaspora.

Please note:
Places are limited, please register asap ( The session on 22 May will take place at the Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Simsonplatz 1, Leipzig); the sessions on 23 and 24 May will take place at the Simon Dubnow Institute (Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig).



Saturday, 22 May
(Location: Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Simsonplatz 1, Leipzig)

5.30 pm

6.00 pm
Eckart Hien, President, Bundesverwaltungsgericht

6.15 pm
Dan Diner, Director, Simon Dubnow Institute

6.30-8.00 pm
I. Pre-Modern Settings – Transformed
Chair: Yvonne Kleinmann

Israel Bartal, Jerusalem
Between Corporation and Nation: Eastern European Jews in Transition, 1772-1881

Lois Dubin, Northampton
"Suddita Nazione": Jews in 18th and Early 19th Century Italy

John Klier, London
Abolishing the Kahal: Corporative Jewish Rights in the Russian Empire

8.15 pm Reception

Sunday, 23 May
(Location: Simon Dubnow Institute, Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig)

9.00 am – 12.30 pm
II. Advantages and Disadvantages of Modernity
Chair: Nicolas Berg

François Guesnet, Berlin/Leipzig
"Il faut refuser tout aux Juifs comme Nation:" De-Corporating the Jews of Europe

Bart Wallet, Amsterdam
Napoleon's Legacy: National Government and Jewish Community in Western Europe

Stephan Wendehorst, Leipzig
Academic Autonomy, Scientific Innovation: Paradoxes of Modern Jewish Encounters with Pre-Modernity

Lionel Kochan, Oxford
Jewish Institutions and Imperial Spaces: Their Intersection in France and England 1806-1890

2.00 – 6.00 pm
III. Above and Beyond the Nation State
Chair: Frank Nesemann

Vladimir Levin, Jerusalem
Transitory Institutionalization: The Russian Empire´s Rabbinic Conference

Anke Hilbrenner, Bonn
The kahal – Re-Invented? Simon Dubnow's Concept of Autonomy Reconsidered

Gertrud Pickhan, Berlin
Multiculturalism – avant la lettre: The "Bundist" Minority Concept

Larissa Douglass, Oxford
Representation by Other Means: The Jewish Club in the Austrian Reichsrat, 1907/08

Monday, 24 May
(Location: Simon Dubnow Institute, Goldschmidtstr. 28, Leipzig)

9.00 am – 12.00 pm
IV. Diasporic and Imperial Milieus – Reconsidered
Chair: Markus Kirchhoff

Menahem Blondheim, Jerusalem
"One People, Scattered": Rabbi Gershom of Mainz’ Vision of a Jewish Europe

Gabriel Sheffer, Jerusalem
Diaspora, Transformed: The Jewish Experience in Late 19th, Early 20th Century

Yuri Slezkine, Berkeley
Most Soviet – and Most Soviet in Reverse: Russian Jews and the Ambiguities of Success

David Hollinger, Berkeley
Diaspora in Success: Mystification and Counter-Mystification of Jews in America

2.00 – 5.00 pm
V. The New World’s Spaces of Plurality
Chair: Susanne Zepp

Denis Lacorne, Paris
Horace Kallen vs. Israel Zangwill: Debating Cultural Pluralism and Republican Homogeneity

Daniel Greene, Chicago
Pluralism and Distinctiveness: Horace Kallen and the Jewish-American Experience

Michael Werz, Hannover
Volatile Traditions: Horace Kallen and the Conversion of Religion and Nationality in America

Tobias Brinkmann, Leipzig
Ethnicization and Americanization: On the Dialectics of "In Pluribus Unum"

Jacques Picard, Basel
"American Symphony with Jewish Klez ?" Pluralism, Secularism in an Unfinished Country

Shimshon Zelniker, Jersualem

6.30 pm
Official Reception by the City of Leipzig
(Location: New Town Hall)

Welcome Address, Georg Girardet, Mayor for Cultural Affairs

Concluding Remarks, Dan Diner


Israel Bartal, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Nicolas Berg, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
Menahem Blondheim, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Tobias Brinkmann, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
Dan Diner, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig/The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Larissa Douglass, University of Oxford
Lois Dubin, Smith College, Northampton
Daniel Greene, University of Chicago
François Guesnet, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
David Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley
Anke Hilbrenner, Universität Bonn
Markus Kirchhoff, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
Yvonne Kleinmann, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
John Klier, University College London
Lionel Kochan, University of Oxford
Denis Lacorne, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Sciences-Po, CNRS, Paris
Vladimir Levin, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Frank Nesemann, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
Jacques Picard, Universität Basel
Gertrud Pickhan, Freie Universität Berlin
Gabriel Sheffer, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Yuri Slezkine, University of California, Berkeley
Bart Wallet, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Stephan Wendehorst, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig
Michael Werz, Universität Hannover
Shimshon Zelniker, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Susanne Zepp, Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig


Tobias Brinkmann
Simon-Dubnow-Institut für Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur
Goldschmidtstr. 28, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
++49-[0]341-217 35 50
++49-[0]341-217 35 55

From Pre-modern Corporation to Post-modern Pluralism, 22.05.2004 – 24.05.2004 Leipzig, in: H-Soz-Kult, 11.05.2004, <>.