CALL FOR PAPERS: The Dreyfus Affair Race, Religion and the Molding of National Identity
March 26-29, 2003, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, USA
In October 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French Army, was arrested and falsely accused of espionage and treason. For more than a decade, Dreyfus and his family sought justice, while his cause became an international one. With political pressure from other governments and advocacy from French intellectuals, the French civil government eventually pardoned Dreyfus for the crime he never committed.
More than a century later, this conference seeks to revisit the Dreyfus Affair, its context, and its impact on world history. The case raises issues about institutional loyalty, the nature of "race," governmental oversight of the military, the rights of citizens, the power of state religions, and the nature of national identity. Ultimately the Affair asks the question: What is the political responsibility of the artist, journalist, scholar, cleric or teacher in speaking out at time of crisis or conflict? The conference will bring together internationally known scholars with younger academics for a community dialogue about race, religions and national identity. Also, the conference will include an exhibit of political cartoons and posters from the Affair and a screening and discussion of The Life of Emile Zola (1937).
We invite proposals from all fields of the humanities. Organizers have identified several themes for the conference, although papers may be submitted that are outside these broad areas as well.
Anti-Semitism in fin-de-siècle Europe
Nationalism, national identity and identity politics
Rise of Zionism
The rise of the media and nationalism
Racism, eugenics and degeneration
Gender, class and religion
Religions and states
Please submit a current c.v. and a 250-word proposal no later than Oct. 1, 2002. The organizers plan to publish some of the papers, and funds are available to help defray travel costs for those participating in the conference. Notification of acceptance will be sent in early November.
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