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[Conference CFP] Biographies and Politics: Involvement of Jews and Activists of Jewish Origin in Leftist Movements in 19th and 20th Century Poland

We would like to invite you to propose papers for the international conference

Biographies and Politics: Involvement of Jews and Activists of Jewish Origin in Leftist Movements in 19th- and 20th- Century Poland.

(1-2 December 2019, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews)

The conference is jointly organized by the POLIN Museum and the Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies, the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies of the University of Oxford, and the University College London.

The aim of the conference is to outline the actual involvement of Jews and activists of Jewish origin in the leftist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries from the perspective of individual motivations, ideological choices and personal biographies.

For more detailed CFP please see:

We especially invite scholars focusing on biographical research on Jews and activists of Jewish origin in leftist movements in 19th and 20th century Poland.

Possible questions to be addressed might be:

  • Was being Jewish an important factor in choosing a specific political path?
  • Which other factors led Jews and people of Jewish origin to affiliate with a particular political group?
  • How did their leftist involvement influence their attitude towards imperial settings, occupying powers, internationalist movements, as well as Poland and Polish identity?
  • How did they assess their leftist engagement later in their lives?

Proposed issues:

  1. Biographies: individual and collective paths of Jewish leftists, circumstances of social and political involvement in leftist movements and organizations, self-perceptions, alternatives to leftist engagement, entangled ideologies (e.g. leftists Zionists), generational transmission of ideologies;
  2. Methodologies: biographical approach, gender history, oral history, and others;
  3. Ideologies: attractive leftists ideas for Polish Jews (socialism, communism, labor Zionism etc.);
  4. Historical culture and politics of history: Perceptions and instrumentalizations of “Jewish” leftist biographies.

The deadline for submitting the proposals is 31 May 2019.

The conference is organized within the Global Education Outreach Program.

The conference was made possible thanks to the support of Taube Philanthropies, the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.

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