Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of
Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism
Tel Aviv University
Call for papers
The Roma – A Minority in Europe:
Historical, Social and Cultural Perspectives
The situation of the Roma in Europe, especially in the former communist states, is one of the more important human rights issues on the agenda of the international community, especially in the Euro-Atlantic bodies of integration. Within European states with Roma populations there is a growing awareness that the matter must be confronted, and that a concentrated effort is needed to solve social problems and ease tensions between the Roma and the European nations among which they dwell. The issue is not only an internal one pertaining to these states alone but has become an international one due to the attempts of some Roma in Eastern and Central Europe to seek asylum in the West, and the emigration of thousands of others to Western countries.
At the same time a process of self-identification has been taking place among the various Roma communities – a search for roots, language and common features among the various groups. Their fate during World War II is of crucial importance in this process of identity and “nation-building,” since victimization and persecution are key elements in this search.
The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University is holding an international conference, entitled “The Roma – A Minority in Europe: Historical, Social and Cultural Perspectives,” which will take place at Tel Aviv University from 1 to 3 December 2002. An advisory committee composed of distinguished scholars is accompanying its organization.
The conference will serve as a forum for a multidisciplinary discussion on the past and present of the Roma. It will seek to compare the historical experience of Jews and Roma regarding patterns of racism and xenophobia, as well as that of destruction and annihilation, reconstruction after the war and commemoration.
The conference will address the following major topics:
A history of oppression? European attitudes toward the Roma in historical perspective.
The tragic fate of the Roma during the Nazi era - historiographical interpretations and historical memory.
Nation-building – the Roma and the international community (focus on organizational patterns of the Roma, emerging political activism).
The Roma experience – social and cultural aspects.
The current situation of the Roma in Western and Eastern Europe (education, living conditions, crime, legislation, etc.).
The “Jewish question” and the “Roma question”: assimilation, integration and rejection (comparative aspects of relations between the minority and majority groups).
The “wandering Jew” and the “wandering Gypsy” – common stereotypes in the arts (literature, theater, cinema and art).
The suggested subject of your paper should relate to one of the topics above. Please e-mail an abstract, together with a short curriculum vitae, by 15 April, to Stauber@post.tau.ac.il.
Dr. Roni Stauber
Dr. Raphael Vago
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