CFP Deadline: Sep. 30, Shibboleth 1967/1968 International Conference, Poland

The Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Science, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Polish Academy of Sciences invites participation in the Shibboleth 1967/1968 conference, which will be held in Warsaw on 2-4 December 2015.

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 September 2015.

The date 1967/1968 became recognized as a key moment in Jewish history, which is, however, differently located in various national narratives. The events that took place around this time in Israel, in the former Soviet bloc countries, Western Europe, and the US are often read in the immediate context of their respective local political configurations.  Diagnosing the limitations of such an approach, the organizers would like to explore the transnational political aspects of 1967/1968 in Jewish history, but even more importantly its broader cultural and social dimensions. Juxtaposing, for instance, the significance of the Six-Day War in Israel, the anti-Semitic campaign in Poland, the birth of youth subculture, and the sexual revolution can deepen our understanding not only of 1967/1968, but also of the resulting new modes of Jewishness prominent today.

Such a broadened transnational and cultural understanding of the events of 1967/1968 may challenge them as a universal marker of the transformations of Jewishness. For instance, it has been assumed that the Six-Day war influenced Holocaust memorialization in the US, which in turn significantly shaped the construction of Jewish identity. Newer studies, however, show a more nuanced grasp of these processes that seem to have their genealogy in the years immediately after WWII. How do these challenges to the import of 1967/1968 present itself if we approach the date from a transnational vantage point? How does the date signify when it is embedded in other cultural narratives?

The aim of this conference is to expand on these questions and create a space for critical comparative reflection on 1967/1968 including the context of Central and Eastern Europe. Whereas, for instance, the Polish-Jewish contexts of March 1968, the political conditioning of the anti-Semitic campaign, its course, the following forced immigration and the experience of the immigrants have been explored for quite some time, they are most often located in that narrow national and political context and only seldom a part of a broader conversation on Jews under communism, which often focuses on the Soviet Union. While contrasting hegemonic and marginalized narratives from various national settings in Eastern, Central, and Western Europe, the US and Israel, we want to propose a new decentered and transnational framework for thinking about 1967/1968.

Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
•    1967/1968 in literature and film
•    1967/1968 in art
•    (Narratives of) 1967/1968 immigration
•    1967/1968 and communism
•    (Trans)national configurations of 1967/1968
•    1967/1968 and Zionism
•    1967/1968 and memorializing the Holocaust
•    1967/1968 and gender and sexuality
•    Sexual revolution and Jewishness
•    Polish March 1968 as a student revolt
•    Student revolt and Jewishness
•    1967/1968 and generational differences
•    1967/1968 and alternative periodizations
•    1967/1968 and Jewish Studies

The organizers invite scholars of literary studies, cultural studies, or history and related fields to submit an abstract (ca. 200 words) and a short bio note to by 30 September 2015.

The conference language is English. There will be no conference fee.

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