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Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Cláudia Andréa Prata Ferreira é Professora Doutora - Categoria: Associado IV - do Setor de Língua e Literatura Hebraicas do Departamento de Letras Orientais e Eslavas da Faculdade de Letras da UFRJ.



terça-feira, 5 de fevereiro de 2008

100 years of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society - June 8-10, 2008

The VIth international academic conference
of the series

The History and Culture of East European Jewry: New Sources, New Approaches

(100 years of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society)

June 8-10, 2008, St. Petersburg

Call for Papers

Organizers: The International Center for Russian and East European Jewish Studies (Moscow); Center of Studies of History and Culture of Eastern-European Jews and V.I. Vernadsky Ukrainian National Library (Kiev, Ukraine); Interdepartmental Center “Petersburg Judaica,” European University at St. Petersburg. Please find below the terms how to submit the proposal for the conference.

Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society was established in St. Petersburg on November 16, 1908. This event was preceded by many years of development of the Jewish historiography in Russia. As early as 1891 “the children of reforms” of 1860s (young representatives of Jewish intelligentsia, jurists, physicians: M. M. Vinaver, V. L. Berman, L. M. Bramson, S. M. Goldshtein, Yu. Brutskus, and others) established, under the supervision of an outstanding lawyer and public figure A. Ya. Passover, the “Historical Commission” affiliated with the “Society for the Spread of Enlightenment among the Jews of Russia.” Over a short period of time they prepared and published not only such fundamental collections of sources for the history of Jews in Russia as “Registers and Inscriptions” and “Russian-Jewish Archive,” but compiled a full bibliographical reference book “Systematic Index of Literature About Jews in the Russian Language. 1708-1889.” These publications became a starting point for historiographic understanding of the Jewish history in Russia.

In 1891, S. M. Dubnov published his essay “On the study of history of Russia’s Jews and on the establishment of Russian-Jewish Historical Society.” According to the contemporaries, it was precisely this work that served a catalyst for all later works in this field, and most importantly, for the wide-range accumulation of historical sources. In other words, S. M. Dubnov determined the ideology and methodology of scholarly research in this area.

Political changes in the country that took place in 1905-1906 created the possibility for establishing ethnic scholarly organizations.

Creation of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society was not only a scholarly event, but a result of lengthy struggle in the public sphere. It was not at all accidental that many of the founders of the Society (M. M. Vinaver, L. M. Bramson, Yu. Brutskus, S. M. Dubnov) were at the time active political and public figures. This reflected the rise of ethnic consciousness that seized Russia’s Jewry at the turn of the XX c.

M. M. Vinaver became the head if the Committee in the newly created Society, S. M. Dubnov and M. I. Kulisher were elected his deputies. According to its statute, the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society aimed at “collecting and studying of materials about the past and the present of Jewish communes in Russia and Poland.” Starting with January 1909, the main Society’s periodical, journal “Jewish Antiquities,” started to come out. Virtually all intellectual powers concentrated around the Society; A. Goldshtein, M. Syrkin, L. Shternberg, G. Sliozberg, S. Lozinsky, S. Tsynberg, S. An-sky, Yu. I. Gessen – all participated in its activities. With all that, it should be emphasized that among the leaders and active participants of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society there were people of various political and public opinions.

Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society started to form its archive. In 1912-1914 it initiated and conducted several ethnographic expeditions to the Pale of Jewish Settlement. Materials collected in the course of these expeditions laid the foundation for the Jewish Museum that opened in Petrograd in 1916. Reports and other research works were systematically presented in the Society, discussions on various topical issues of scholarship and culture were conducted.

After 1917, in spite of the most unfavorable conditions and direct resistance, the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society was persistently struggling for existence, continued publishing the “Jewish Antiquities,” supported national-oriented historical research.

Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society was shut down by the Soviets in 1929. The Society left behind not only dozens of publications and thirteen volumes of the “Jewish Antiquities”; it laid the foundation for the nationalistic school in historiography of the Jewish people. The Society turned into a true school for a whole generation of Jewish scholars.

The conference “IN SEARCH OF THE JEWISH HISTORY” aims at revealing the contribution of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society into the development of Jewish scholarly thought in Russia.

During the conference, reports are expected on the topic of participation of various scholars and organizers of the Jewish scholarship in the activities of the Society (e.g. M. M. Vinaver, S. M. Dubnov, S. I. Tsynberg, Yu. Brutskus, S. An-sky, Yu. I. Gessen, S. M. Ginzburg, and others). The history of the Museum and of the journal “Jewish Antiquities,” the content and the results of ethnographic expeditions, as well as the course and specific features of scholarly discussions held in the Society warrant separate reports.

Creation and activities of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic Society was a significant public event. Consequently, during the conference reports will be presented on the place and role of the Society in the system of other public, scholarly, and cultural organizations of the time, the Society’s interaction with other Jewish scholarly and cultural organizations, its history after 1917, including the history of its collections and archive, its international connections.

A special attention will be paid to combination of “history” and “ethnography” mentioned in the name of the Society. Recent debates concerning the place of anthropology within the Jewish studies allow us to a give a fresh look over the attempt of An-sky and his colleagues to create Jewish ethnography and folk studies. Scientific reports dedicated to the theory and practice of formation of the subject of Jewish ethnography will be presented at the conference.

Reports on source criticism, historiography, and historical anthropology of East European Jewry are also welcomed.

The conference will take place on June 8-10, 2008 in the European University at St. Petersburg (Gagarinskaya st., H. 3).

Reports not longer than 20 minutes are expected.

Working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

Please, send report proposals (maximum 1 page) and a short scholarly biography (resume) by March 1, 2008. Decision of acceptance will be announced by March, 15, 2008.

Unfortunately, we are not able to cover expenses related to the conference participation.

Foreign participants will be assisted with the visa process.

Please, send your proposals and resumes by e-mail to:

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals!

Organizing committee

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