Expected to take place in mid-February, 2018
The German Historical Institutes London and Washington DC are organizing a conference on new perspectives on Jewish flight and exile from Nazi Europe. The majority of scholarship on this topic has so far focused on the flight and emigration of Jews from Germany and Austria and on the destinations where the greatest numbers of people ended their journeys: the United States, Central and South America, and Palestine. The most recent additions to this extensive scholarship focus on previously neglected places of refuge, particularly in Africa and Asia and also consider Jews from outside the Third Reich who were forced to flee Europe.
Building on that scholarship, this conference aims at expanding the geographical, temporal, and conceptual lens on Jewish forced migration. This approach promises to offer new insights not only into the experience of the refugees but also into the reach of anti-Semitism and racism against the backdrop of colonialism and war. Many refugees traveled long and circuitous routes, which could take weeks, months, or, if longer stopovers were involved, sometimes years, with the final destination often unforeseeable.
During this conference we would like to pay special attention to neglected temporal and spatial aspects of forced migration from Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. We will focus on the destinations and processes of migration, giving particular attention to colonial and semi-colonial settings and the transit phase of migration. We are particularly interested in three main themes/areas of inquiry:
Goals: The conference aims to bring researchers in the fields of migration, exile, and refugee studies into dialogue with specialists in Jewish history, colonial history, and the history of knowledge. We particularly welcome applications from doctoral students and recent PhD recipients.
We wish to address common research gaps and questions and to situate them in the context of general migration history. Framing emigration, exile, and refugee history as an entangled history in colonial contexts and situating it also in the history of the “Global South” can serve as a special prism for better interpreting processes that extend beyond Jews and Jewish history. In this way, we would like to extract these histories from often rather victim-centered narratives and explore more forcefully the interactions with people outside of the refugee/migrant communities as well as differences within these communities themselves. By doing so, we hope that the conference will contribute to shaping a new field of research—migrants’ knowledge in historical perspectives.
The workshop language will be English. Successful applicants can receive grants for travel and lodging expenses.
Please send a short abstract of no more than one page and a brief CV to Susanne Fabricius at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, 2017.