Jewish Masculinities in Germany
University of California at San Diego
December 11-13, 2005
This conference, the Second International Workshop on Gender in German Jewish History, will explore the history of Jewish masculinities in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany. The first workshop took place in October 2003 in Hamburg at the Institute for the History of Jews in Germany under the title "Rethinking Jewish Women's and Gender History." The conference volume Deutsch-Jüdische Geschichte als Geschlechtergeschichte: Studien zum 19. und 20. Jahrhundert will appear in German by the end of this year.
The 2005 San Diego Workshop now turns to the history of masculinities. For decades scholars have been calling attention to anti-Semitic concepts of Jewish masculinity. By the late nineteenth century, German anti-Semites had popularized the notion of a distorted Jewish gender order and criticized Jewish men for being weak in body, meek in personality, and dominated by all too assertive wives. In recent years, historians have moved beyond examining the claims of anti-Semites and have started to explore these issues from Jewish perspectives. Indeed, we find German-Jewish men who embraced ideals of a gentle Jewish masculinity. Moreover, some Jewish studies scholars have claimed that Jewish communities throughout the ages have distinguished themselves from surrounding societies by a distinct gender organization. At our conference we shall interrogate this notion of a Jewish gender order; we will examine how German-Jewish men negotiated Jewishness, manliness, and Germaness, and how ideals and practices of Jewish masculinities in Germany changed as Jews navigated the dilemmas of acculturation, integration, and exclusion in the crucible of German modernity.
University of California, San Diego
Judaic Studies Program
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0104
Fax: 858-534-7283 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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