CFP: GSA panel on 'Modern Antisemitism, Liberalism and Nationalism'
We would like to invite contributions for a panel on
'Modern Antisemitism, Liberalism and Nationalism'
at the German Studies Association Annual Conference, San Diego, 4-7 October 2007
This panel will explore the relationship of forms of liberalism and modern antisemitism.
One possible point of interest will be the role liberal nationalism played in this
constellation, and the consequences these observations might have for the
conceptualization of seemingly different types of nationalism (such as 'Eastern' vs.
'Western' nationalism) more generally. The panel organizers invite contributions from
various fields, such as history, literature, social or political sciences; all possible
perspectives on the difficult relation of liberalism and antisemitism are welcome.
One part of the panel will focus on the ways in which deep-seated ambivalences regarding
capitalist modernity have led some liberals to embrace particular forms of anti-Semitism,
thus calling into question the widespread view that these two sets of attitudes and
political convictions are mutually exclusive. This aspect will be explored with reference
to two 19th century case studies, Gustav Freytag and Heinrich von Treitschke. Both
authors were 'National Liberals', and are widely recognized as having significantly
contributed to the growing hegemony of antisemitism in Germany in the second half of the
nineteenth century. Both were prominent writers (one a novelist, the other a historian),
and political journalists, and editors of significant national-liberal publications (the
Grenzboten and the Preussische Jahrb?. The discourses of each were shaped by a kind
of de-dialecticized, liberal Hegelianism, which affirmed the rise of bourgeois society,
but was wary of rapid and radical political, economic and social change.
Central to the discussion in this part of the panel will be the relation of 'liberal
nationalism' to antisemitic critiques of capitalist modernity. It should be noted that
the authors under discussion subscribed to a form of what is usually described as
'political' or 'Western' nationalism, a form of nationalism which is still frequently
opposed to 'romantic', 'ethnic', 'Eastern', or specifically 'German' nationalism in the
scholarly literature. This observation challenges the widespread assumption that these
supposed 'types' of nationalism are diametrically opposed, since such an assumption is of
limited use for describing, let alone explaining liberal antisemitism. Moreover, both
examples call into question the notion that specifically modern, secular forms of
anti-Semitism necessarily have to be predicated on a developed notion of 'race.'
Further papers could focus on a range of related topics. Examples might be:
- another representative of forms of liberal antisemitism from this or another national
context or period
- an exploration of the tensions between liberalism and antisemitism
- the genealogy of the notion of the 'two types of nationalism'
- Hegel's concept of the nation and its relevance to the history of
Other suggestions welcome!
For information about this GSA conference, please visit the website:
Suggestions should reach the panel organisers by 9 February 2007 (contact
Please share this call with any one who might be interested in contributing.
Marcel Stoetzler and Christine Achinger
Dr. Marcel Stoetzler (University of Manchester); firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Christine Achinger (University of Warwick); C.E.Achinger@warwick.ac.uk
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