International Conference „Historicizing the Jewish People – A Conference in Honour of Simon Dubnow at 150”

The Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig organised an international conference in honor of Simon Dubnow
to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth on 10 September 1860:

"The historian of Jewish history Simon Dubnow (1860–1941) is considered the modern founder of secular Jewish historiography from an East European perspective. Against the backdrop of a multi-national and multi-religious reality within an imperial context, and confronted with an accelerating process of modernization in czarist Russia, Dubnow developed a "sociological concept“ for understanding Jewish existential experience in the Diaspora.

The Annual International Conference of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, Leipzig, brings together experts on the life, work and impact of Simon Dubnow for a two-day exchange of insights and ideas in Leipzig. The conference provides a platform for exploring questions of the historical formation of tradition, historical theory, linguistic culture, and most particularly the crisis-ridden seismic shifts during the inter-war period on the eve of the Catastrophe in respect to diasporic self-understanding as reflected in Dubnow's thought and work."

See the program below (or download it here):

Thursday, November 4

9:00 Dan Diner, Introduction

I. Historical Traditions (Chair: Jörg Deventer)

9:15 Israel Bartal (Jerusalem)
'Neither a Future, nor a Past': Simon Dubnow and his Predecessors

10:00 Michael Brenner (München)
Graetz and Dubnow: A Juxtaposition

II. Literature and Memory (Chair: Susanne Zepp)

11:15 Dan Miron (Jerusalem/New York)
Jewish Social History as Literature: Simon Dubnow's 'World History of
the Jewish People'

12:00 Alexis Hofmeister (Köln)
Imperial Memory: Simon Dubnow's 'Book of Life'

III. Concepts and Ideas (Chair: Nicolas Berg)

14:30 Dan Diner (Jerusalem/Leipzig)
The Notion of "Nation": On Historical Semantics in Dubnow's Writings

15:15 Robert Seltzer (New York)
A Philosophy of Jewish History: Simon Dubnow in Search for a Conceptual

IV. The Politics of Language (Chair: Natasha Gordinsky)

16:30 Marion Aptroot (Düsseldorf)
The Language of Autonomy:
Jiddish as a Mean of Cultural Identification

17:15 Ruth Wisse (Cambridge, Mass.)
A Personal Statement: Simon Dubnow in my Life

Friday, November 5

V. At the Eve of Turmoil (Chair: Dan Diner)

9:00 Joshua Karlip (New York)
At the Crossroads:
Simon Dubnow and His Disciples at the Eve of World War II

9:45 Samuel Kassow (Hartford)
What should we do in Haman's Times:
The Public Intellectual on the Eve of War

VI. Interwar Constellations (Chair: Omar Kamil)

11:00 Gabriel Motzkin (Jerusalem)
Nationalism and the Question of Minorities: A Reassessment

11:45 Anne-Christin Saß (Berlin)
The Historian's Craft: Simon Dubnow and the Historical Section of YIVO
in Berlin

VII. Visions and Values (Chair: Jan Gerber)

14:00 Anke Hilbrenner (Bonn)
Diaspora Nationalism: Dubnow's Vision for a Multicultural Europe

14:45 Verena Dohrn (Berlin)
Ethos and History: Simon Dubnow meets David Koigen in Weimar Berlin

15:30 Simon Rabinovitch (Boston)
'Castles in the Sky'? On Visions of Autonomism in America

VIII. Looking back (Panel Discussion)

16:30 Steven Zipperstein (Stanford)
Closing the Gate

Dan Miron (Jerusalem/New York)
Robert Seltzer (New York)
Ruth Wisse (Cambridge, Mass.)

4 November 2010 - 5 November 2010