University of Fribourg, 16 –18 May 2011

An international conference organised by the Department of Historical Sciences, University of Fribourg and the Leo Baeck Institute London.

You can download the leaflet here.

Over the last decades, debates on how to deal with the «other» have raised new research questions and resulted in new theoretical assumptions. The emergence and consolidation of right-wing populism all over Europe has given rise to discussions about xenophobia and (neo)racism. In the aftermath of the «Second Intifada», Western societies had to face the question whether harsh criticism of Israel showed tendencies of a «new» antisemitism. There is also a revitalisation of antisemitism in the Arab World and among Muslim communities in Europe. 9/11 and subsequent reactions have intensified debates whether the perception of Islam and Muslims has taken specific forms which can be circumscribed as «islamophobia».

These patterns of exclusion use a generalizing, negatively connoted representation of the «other». They have to be seen against the shifts that have taken place in racist discourse, where the category of «race» has been replaced by «culture» or «ethnic group» following the end of National Socialism, and the reconfiguration of antisemitism, which has found its expression in new topics such as how we deal with the Holocaust or the existence of the State of Israel. Islamophobia contains elements of traditional representations of the «East» / Orientalism as well as contemporary conspiracy fears and xenophobia.

The goal of the international conference is to compare the phenomena of racism, antisemitism, and islamophobia. It will work out the differences of those patterns like the different cultural and political legacies they draw on, and the partial similarities, seen for instance in debates about Jewish and Muslim cemeteries or dietary laws.


Monday, 16 May 2011

6.00 pm
Welcoming Address
Guido Vergauwen (Rector of the University of Fribourg)
Damir Skenderovic (University of Fribourg)
Christina Späti (University of Fribourg)
Daniel Wildmann (Leo Baeck Institute London)

Micha Brumlik (University of Frankfurt)
The Unique Nature of Antisemitism and the Moral Weight Inherent in its Singularity

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Panel I: 9.30 – 11.30 am
Concepts of Racism, Antisemitism and Islamophobia
Chair: Daniel Wildmann (Leo Baeck Institute London)
David Theo Goldberg (University of California, Irvine)
Sander L. Gilman (Emory University, Atlanta)
Nasar Meer (University of Northumbria, Newcastle)
Discussant: Shulamit Volkov (Tel Aviv University)

Panel II: 1.30 – 3.30 pm
Orientalism, Colonialism and Antisemitism before World War II
Chair: Oliver Krüger (University of Fribourg)
Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch (University of Paris 7)
Nicolas Berg (Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig)
Mary Roberts (University of Sydney)
Discussant: Reinhard Schulze (University of Bern)

Panel III: 4.00 – 6.00 pm
Antisemitism, Neo-Racism and Islamophobia in Post-War Europe
Chair: Christina Späti (University of Fribourg)
John Solomos (City University London)
Omar Kamil (Simon Dubnow Institute, Leipzig)
Brian Klug (University of Oxford)
Maleiha Malik (King’s College, University of London)
Discussant: Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Institute for German-Jewish History, Hamburg)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Panel IV: 9.30 – 11.30 am
Space and Exclusion: Doing Borders
Chair: Anne-Françoise Praz (University of Fribourg)
Michael Keith (University of Oxford)
Hanno Loewy (Jewish Museum Hohenems)
Farid Hafez (University of Vienna)
Discussant: Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (University of Bielefeld)

Panel V: 1.30 – 3.30 pm
Popular Culture and Exclusion: Literature, Film and Music
Chair: Damir Skenderovic (University of Fribourg)
Anoop Nayak (Newcastle University)
Eva Lezzi (New York University, Berlin)
Carrie Tarr (Kingston University, London)
Discussant: Liliane Weissberg (University of Pennsylvania)

Roundtable: 4.00 – 6.00 pm
Politicisation of the Other: Current Debates
Chair: Daniel Binswanger (Paris / Zurich)
Rifa’at Lenzin (Zurich)
Antony Lerman (London)
Marcel Niggli (University of Fribourg)
Alexandra Senfft (Hamburg)

6.00 – 6.30 pm
Closing remarks
Peter Pulzer (University of Oxford)

Please see also: