Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism : Birkbeck University of London
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Paupers and Bankers: Modern Representation of Jews and Money

Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London in collaboration with the SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies

Speakers:: Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading; Derek J. Penslar, University of Oxford and the University of Toronto; Gideon Rueveni, Centre for German Jewish Studies, University of Sussex; Yonatan Sagiv, Israel Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Adam Sutcliffe, Kings College London; Nadia Valman, Queen Mary, University of London
Date: Tue, Jun. 9, 2015
Time:  11:00am - 5:30pm
Venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX. Council Room, Torrington Square main entrance
Free event for students and scholars:

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Details:

The workshop's emphasis is on modern writing about Jews, money and economy. It aims to provide a forum for presenting and analysing the most recent critical and theoretical approaches for understanding self-representations of Jewish economic activity in the modern Diaspora, Mandate Palestine and Israel.

Through the workshop we hope to explore, among other topics: the varied textual constructions of the relationship between Jews and modern economics; Jewish writing on economy as a response to European dominant stereotypes on Jews and money, especially the double image of Jews as "conspiring bankers" or "degenerate paupers"; the participation, appropriation and subversion of antisemitic and philosemitic economic discourses by Jewish and early Israeli writers; and capitalist and socialist debates in the Zionist movement. In this vein, the workshop aims to trace the crucial role money and economy played in shaping modern Jewish and Israeli identities.

The day consists of three two-speaker panels, each panel centered on a particular theme.

Rich Jews

  • Jewish Money and Jewish Politics, Adam Sutcliffe, Kings College London
  • Market Economy and Emancipation: From Ellis Rivkin to Moses Mendelssohn, Gideon Rueveni, Centre for German Jewish Studies, University of Sussex

 Poor Jews

  • Paupers and Bankers: Zangwill, Zionism and Semitic discourse, Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading
  • Beatrice Webb in the East End, Nadia Valman, Queen Mary, University of London

 Money and Zionism

  • Zionism, Judaism and the Threat of Money in Agnon’s A Guest for the Night, Yonatan Sagiv, Israel Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 
  • Theodor Herzl, the Jewish Question, and the Social Question, Derek J. Penslar, University of Oxford and the University of Toronto

Workshop co-conveners:
David Feldman, Director, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London
Yair Wallach, Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Yonatan Sagiv, Post-doctoral Fellow of the Israel Institute, Centre for Jewish Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

We are grateful for the financial support of the Israel Institute

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