Conference Czech-Jewish and Polish-Jewish Studies: Differences and Similarities

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

Czech-Jewish and Polish-Jewish Studies: Differences and Similarities

Prague, 29–30 October 2014


Polish-Jewish and Czech-Jewish history are often seen as following two different lines of narrative. While historians of Bohemian and Moravian Jews tend to focus on the impact of Austrian-Jewish and German-Jewish history and tend to see Bohemian and Moravian Jews as part of west European or at least central European Jewry, historians generally associate Polish Jews with the east European Jewish experience. Both of those popular images of Czech-Jewish and Polish-Jewish history are gross over-simplifications, obscuring many shared aspects of Jewish history in these regions.

The Prague conference on 29–30 October aims to bring together scholars who specialize in the history of the Jews of Poland or the Bohemian Lands, in order to discuss shared topics, the current state of research, and the differences and similarities in their approaches and results.

The conference will be divided into five panels considering key topics of the history of the Jews of both regions. These topics have been chosen to cover the major aspects of the Jewish experience and to compare research on these topics in both of the histories. The five panels will discuss (1) the Jewish experience in early modern societies; (2) Jewish demography and migration; (3) questions of gender and family; (4) new approaches to concepts of modernization and identity; and (5) Jewish experience in post-war societies. Each panel is planned to include four papers. Two of the four papers will be offered by renowned specialists on Polish-Jewish and Czech-Jewish history, providing an overview and analysing the major research trends and results, pointing out their strengths and limits. The other two will introduce recent research projects on the topic, ideally one about the Polish milieu, the other about the Czech, of which at least one will be presented by a young, up-and-coming scholar.

The conference will be held at Villa Lanna of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, on 29–30 October 2014. The language of the proceedings will be English. Scholars will be offered an opportunity to publish their contributions in Judaica Bohemiae and Studia Judaica.

We welcome papers from advanced graduate students and junior scholars who are working on projects that are connected with Jewish history in the Bohemian Lands and Poland, and fit in well with one of the five panels.

Applicants should submit an abstract of 300–500 words for a paper of 20 minutes in length, together with a short CV to by 30 April 2014. Participants will be notified by 30 May 2014. We shall provide accommodations for up to three nights and will, if needed, assist in covering travel expenses. (If you require assistance, please indicate this in your application.)


Additional applications for small bursaries covering the cost of accommodation and meals can be made by doctoral students and junior scholars interested in participating in the conference.

Among the scholars who have confirmed that they will give the core papers are Rachel Greenblatt (Harvard University), Agnieszka Jagodzińska (University of Wrocław), Hillel J. Kieval (Washington University in St. Louis), Ines Koeltzsch (Masaryk Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences), Michael Miller (CEU Budapest), Martina Niedhammer (LMU Munich), Moshe Rosman (Bar Ilan University), and Shaul Stampfer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

If you have any questions related to the conference please get in touch with the organizers: Kateřina Čapková (, on behalf of the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, and Marcin Wodziński (, on behalf of the Department of Jewish Studies, University of Wrocław.

29 October 2014 - 30 October 2014