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Deutsch als jüdisches Problem: Sprachpolitische Positionen zwischen 1882-1917

Donnerstag, 15.06.2023

DHF (David-Herzog-Fonds) Lecture von Marc Volovici (University of Haifa)

15. Juni 2023, 17:00-19:00 Uhr
Universitätsbibliothek, SR 62.31 (Universitätsplatz 3a, 3. OG), Universitätsplatz 3a, 8010 Graz

In the 19th century, German was associated with Jewish religious reform and served as a language of Jewish political and intellectual exchange across the diaspora, leading various writers and scholars to consider German as a Jewish language. With the emergence of Jewish nationalism, Central European Jews confronted the question of how to define their relation to Hebrew and Yiddish, and, as a consequence, to German. This lecture will present several strategies Central European Jews employed amid the growing political pressure to address their national and linguistic loyalties. The effort of Central European Jews to probe their practical and emotional dependence on German brought to the surface the question of what makes a Jewish language Jewish. Indeed, the effort to turn German into a foreign language in Jewish life revealed the rootedness of modern Jewish politics and culture in German, allowing us to critically examine some of the assumptions underlying the relation between language and modern nationhood.

Moderation: Birgit Erdle

Marc Volovici is Alfred Landecker Lecturer at the University of Haifa’s Department of Jewish History. He is the author of German as a Jewish Problem: The Language Politics of Jewish Nationalism (Stanford University Press, 2020), and the co-editor, together with David Feldman, of Antisemitism, Islamophobia and the Politics of Definition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023). Marc served as an academic advisor and co-edited the catalogue for the exhibition Jews, Money, Myth, which was staged at the
Jewish Museum London in 2019. He holds a PhD from Princeton’s Department of History, and he served as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and the Department of History at Birkbeck, University of London.


Eine Kooperationsveranstaltung im Rahmen des DHF-Lecturer Fellowship-Programms mit dem Centrum für Jüdische Studien der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz.

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