From Judeo-Phobia to Anti-Semitism and Back Again
Thursday, April 11th 2013 at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
A.D. White House, Guerlac Room 409 White Hall
Steven Englund recently retired as the NYU Distinguished Professor of History at The American University of Paris. He is the author of Napoleon: A Political Life (Scribner’s, 2004), which won the Russell Major Award as the Best Book in French History, from The American Historical Association. The book is the first American biography of Napoleon to be translated into French; it won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoleon (2005) and the American Historical Association’s prize for the best book in French history. Englund has been a Guggenheim Fellow (2006) and was named by the French Republic as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (2005). He is currently writing a comparative history of political Antisemitism in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and France, 1870-1920, under contract with a French and a German publisher. He obtained his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he studied with Arno J. Mayer and Carl E. Schorske.
In his talk at Cornell, Prof. Englund will discuss David Nirenberg’s new book, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013), with a view to seeing what it says, and does not say, about the more specific phenomenon of political Antisemitism. Scholarship on Antisemitisim in the past generation has tended to study their topic as if it had completely broken from its religious past when it took the form of attacks on Jews-as-‘Christ-killers’ (deicides). After 1880, Antisemitism saw itself — and continues to be seen by scholars — as a narrowly political movement oriented around social, economic, cultural, racial, and political themes. Englund will try to show that in fact, whether as open or subdued clericalism or in a myriad of more unconscious forms of ‘the religious’ (le religieux), the religious dimension of Anti-Judaism remained very present in political Antisemitism. This, he maintains, was true in the eighteenth century as well, when ‘the politics of commerce’ was ostensibly the new cadre of Anti-Judaism.
Sponsored by The Jewish Studies Program, co-sponsored by The Religious Studies Program.