PhD and Early Career Researcher Workshop: Imagined Jewishness in Great Britain and Germany from 1700 to 1914

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Date / time: 12 September - 14 September, 10:10 am - 4:00 pm

Jewish Museum London (and online)

PhD and Early Career Researcher Workshop: Imagined Jewishness in Great Britain and Germany from 1700 to 1914


Workshop – 12 to 14 September 2022 at The Jewish Museum (partly in-person/partly via Zoom)

Call for Papers, deadline – 24 June 2022

The eighteenth and nineteenth-century saw the rise and dominance of ethnonationalism in states such as Great Britain and Germany. Ethnonational tropes and religious characteristics were used to define the limits of belonging. A central role in this process was played by the ethnonational trope of the imagined Jew, portraying an image of otherness that varied between the potential to assimilate and the threat of exclusion. This trope was used to illustrate a kaleidoscope of ambiguous opinions on the assimilation of Jews from philosemitic enthusiasm to anti-Semitic antagonism. However, research on the character of the imagined Jew has not been yet discussed in a comparative fashion. In this workshop, we will explore the emerging and ambiguous nature of the imagined Jew by using two case studies: Great Britain and Germany. Both countries created dominant protestant national identities, and both are complex states with highly manifested regional and provincial identities.

In exploring this issue, this workshop poses a series of questions including but not limited to:

  • How was the imagined Jew utilized as a trope in the ethno-national state of Great Britain and Germany?
  • How did the imagined Jew change in character between 1700 and the outbreak of the First World War?
  • What are provincial and regional differences for the imagined Jew in Great Britain and Germany?
  • What does the trope of the imagined Jew tell us about the possibilities for social tolerance and political citizenship in the two countries?
  • Which place did the imagined Jew have in philosemitic and anti-Semitic thought?
  • What were the consequences for lived Jewish experience that emerged from these variations?

Participants are invited to present 15-minute-long papers on the imagined Jew in Great Britain and Germany. Please submit an abstract of 200 words to Julia Pohlmann ( The deadline for submission is June 24th. This workshop is a hybrid event, please indicate whether you will be attending in person or online on your abstract.

Subject fields: Jewish History/British History/German History/Religious Studies and Theology

Image details: A young Jewish boy listens to the wise words of his aged uncle – Courtesy of the WellCome Collection