2010 BIENNIAL SCHOLARS' CONFERENCE ON AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY (New York City)
JUNE 15-17, 2010
The 2010 Biennial Scholars' Conference on American Jewish History will examine the notion of American Jewish "exceptionalism," or uniqueness that has shaped conceptions of American Jewish history from its beginning.
According to many historical accounts, American Jews have enjoyed an unparalleled degree of freedom, acceptance, and prosperity throughout their history in the United States. This has, according to the argument, enabled Jews to blend their ethnic identities with the demands of American citizenship far more easily than other diasporic Jews. At the same time, the notion of American Jewish exceptionalism holds that Jews have differed from other ethnic groups in the United States by virtue of their educational and economic attainment and, often, by virtue of Jewish "values," including a devotion to educational and social/political liberalism.
Yet to what extent are these notions about American uniqueness, on the one hand, and Jewish uniqueness, on the other, accurate? Does the concept of exceptionalism continue to provide a useful framework for understanding American Jewish history? Should it be qualified for greater nuance or discarded altogether?
A range of prominent academics and doctoral candidates from around the U.S., Canada, and Israel will participate. The keynote address will be given by Professor David Sorkin and an evening roundtable will feature Jon Butler, Ira Katznelson and Aristide Zolberg in dialogue with Beth Wenger and Rebecca Kobrin.
More information can be found on the website of the American Jewish
Historical Society: http://www.ajhs.org/scholarship/conference.cfm.
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