11:15 - 16:00
Jewish Studies Program of the Central European University Vienna and the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Graz
University of Graz, Universitätsstraße 15, Bauteil A, 2. OG, SZ 15.21
This workshop aims to explore Jewish and non-Jewish relations in Central Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a focus on urban social interactions in the context of daily routines.
In the course of the 19th century, Central Europe’s urban landscapes underwent major demographic, political, and economic changes. The rapidly growing urban population, the proliferation of new sites of leisure
and entertainment, the establishment of new branches of commerce, and the emergence of new forms of socialization provided new opportunities for interreligious and intercultural interactions. Jews and non-Jews mingled as co-workers in companies, as classmates in schools, as patrons of the booming entertainment industry, as strollers in parks, shoppers at markets, and as guests in private homes, bringing Jews and non-Jews into closer contact. Recent research has provided ample evidence that, in many parts of Central Europe, Jews and non-Jews lived less segregated than historians have suggested so far.
In this workshop, we aim to discuss a wide variety of case studies, in order to complement historical narratives of Jewish and non-Jewish relations and their impact on the making of modernity. We also seek to shed new light on antisemitism and propound new explanations for its rapid spread.
Where and how did Jews and non-Jews work together? What kind of relations did Jews and non-Jews develop and maintain? Did daily encounters between them have an impact on how they perceived the respective ’other’- Did they maintain intimate friendships? Is it possible to establish a correlation between the increasing or decreasing intensity of political antisemitism and the evolution of interpersonal social relations?
Does the "contact hypothesis" apply to interactions between Jews and non-Jews? Under what concrete conditions were differences in religious affiliation most likely to become irrelevant or insignificant?