European Summer University for Jewish Studies
First Europeans—Last Europeans?June 7 – 12, 2020

An event organized by the Department of Jewish History and Culture, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Basel; the Center for Jewish Cultural History, University of Salzburg; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Vienna; the Chair of Jewish Studies, Otto Friedrich University Bamberg; and the Sigi Feigel Professorship for Jewish Studies, University of Zurich—in collaboration with the Jewish Museum Hohenems.

Before anyone had begun dreaming of a political unification of Europe, Jews were already experiencing transnational and transregional networks as a way of life in the European Diaspora and playing an active role in cultural transfer. Multilingualism, marriage migration, and mobility were self-evident conditions of a proto-European lifeworld whose structures never matched the changing borders of sovereignty. For centuries, the unification of Europe was, at best, a notion in the context of a Christian West—before Enlightenment and Reformation, secularization and the emergence of nation states assigned also European Jews a new role in society.

Jewish intellectuals from Heinrich Heine to Stefan Zweig, from Joseph Roth to Moritz Julius Bonn provided inspiration on the road toward the European idea.

The European catastrophes of the 20th century culminated in the mass extermination of the European Jews. Nevertheless, even after the Holocaust, Jews were among the trailblazers of European unification, such as Simone Veil, the first president of the European Parliament.

Today, many cast again doubt on Project Europe. European societies react with growing nationalism to the worldwide migration and the emergence of new diaspora identities. Prominent Jewish protagonists become model Europeans while, at the same time, Europe’s nationalists co-opt the State of Israel as a bastion of the “Christian-Jewish Occident” against the “Orient.”

From June 7 until 12, 2020, the 12th European Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems will investigate—as usual, from a broad interdisciplinary perspective—the historic and social, economic, religious and cultural dimensions of the Jewish role—both as protagonists as well as playing pieces—in Project Europe and the current threats facing it.

The Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems is open to students of all disciplines. Students of Jewish Studies at the participating universities—Munich, Basel, Salzburg, Vienna, Bamberg, and Zurich—will be granted preferential admission.

 

Summer University 2019—Public Events:

All lectures will take place in the Salomon Sulzer Saal, Schweizer Str. 21, Hohenems.