Third Junior Scholars Conference in German-Jewish History

03.–04.04.2013, Konferenz, DHI Washington

Third Junior Scholars Conference in German-Jewish History "Germans and Americans in Israel – Israelis in Germany and the United States"

With this call for papers, we invite recent Ph.D.s to join the Third Junior Scholars Conference in German-Jewish History, which will take place at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. We aim to foster dialogue among a new generation of scholars by bringing together a small transatlantic group of postdocs and Ph.D. students in their final phase in an intense two-day workshop.

Besides learning about individual projects we will be discussing the future development of the fields of German-Jewish history and history of migration in terms of methodology, theories, approaches, research questions, and sources.The workshop aims to assess the “state of the art” in these fields.

We invite papers that will focus on a specific set of questions in the field of migration history. Today, more than six decades after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, we are used to seeing Israelis in Berlin and New York, just as we are not surprised to meet Germans or Americans in Israel. Israelis travel to Germany just as they travel to the US. For Israelis, “Germany” today stands more for “Europe” than for the Nazi past. This shift in perceptions needs to be questioned and historicized.

What are the different backgrounds of Germans and Americans who travel to or settle in Israel? What impact did their immigration have on Israeli society? How and in which historical setting did Israelis overcome their reluctance to travel and move to Germany? How far are the end of the Cold War and the enlargement of the European Union of relevance to this shift? Which role does the Nazi past play in the shifting discourse for German Jews travelling to Israel and for Israelis travelling to Germany? And what role does Zionism play? Can increasing mobility be seen as a strengthening of ties between Israel and the Jewish diaspora? What part does the interest in the "Jewish heritage" and the search for "roots" play in these migration movements? What impact has immigration and emigration had on demographic, educational, and economic patterns in Israel, Germany, and the United States?