We are happy to announce the upcoming conference under the title Jews on the Move: Particularist Universality in Modern Cosmopolitanist Thought

This conference is organized by Prof Sander Gilman (Emory University) and Dr Cathy Gelbin (University of Manchester) in cooperation with the LBI London and will be held at Lecture Room 217, 2nd Floor, Arts Two Building, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, on 11th and 12th May 2014.

Please see below for further details of this event.

Jews on the Move: Particularist Universality in Modern Cosmopolitanist Thought

International Conference, Leo Baeck Institute London

Co-organised by Cathy Gelbin (UniversityofManchester) and Sander L. Gilman (EmoryUniversity)

11-12 May 2014

Our AHRC-funded conference on Cosmopolitanism and the Jews will look at the image and participation of Jews in the construction of modern cosmopolitanist thought. Cosmopolitanism has recently become a keyword in envisioning productive types of inclusivity and diversity in the West (e.g. Cohen 1992, Appiah 1998 and Beck 2006). From early modernity onwards, Jews represented the paradigm of the cosmopolitan. They were seen as a people unfettered by Herder’s newly evolving idea of national borders as natural and defined by language. German-speaking Jews both epitomized the figure of the cosmopolitan and themselves contributed a rich body of literary and theoretical writing on this concept. Today, Jews have largely vanished from the debate about cosmopolitanism yet remain the palimpsest of academic discourse about the cosmopolitan. While the issue of the cosmopolitan has returned with a vengeance to the social sciences and to the political arena (in the shape of debates about the movement of people and their urbanisation) little attention has been given to when and how this concept evolved.

Examining the case of German-speaking Jews in international perspective, the two-day event explores how Jews were and are made to function as the litmus test of Kant’s and Fichte’s dialectic of particularist universality, which fuelled cosmopolitanist ideas. Leading scholars in the field will situate selected comparative case studies from Europe, theUnited Statesand theMiddle Eastwithin the broader field of cosmopolitanism studies.

Registration for this event is free, but please register with Carina Chitayat, c.chitayat@leobaeck.co.uk, to secure your place and obtain all further information.




SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2014


WELCOME ADDRESS: 13.45-14.00

Dr Daniel Wildmann, Deputy Director of the Leo Baeck InstituteLondon(Queen Mary University of London)


SESSION I, 14.00-15.00

Chair: Dr Daniel Wildmann (Queen Mary University of London)

Prof. Robert Fine (WarwickUniversity), Keynote lecture: The Two Faces of Universalism: Emancipation and the Jewish Question


SESSION II, 15.00-16.30

Chair: Dr Claire Sutherland (DurhamUniversity)

Prof. Michael Keith and Dr Ben Gidley (Universityof Oxford), The Parochially Global Cosmopolitan

Prof. Saskia Sassen (ColumbiaUniversity), tbc


Coffee break, 16.30-17.00


SESSION III, 17.00-18.30

Chair: Dr Cathy Gelbin (UniversityofManchester)

Ruth Novaczek (London), The New World, Diaspora and 21st- Century Cosmopolitanism

Followed by a screening of Ruth Novaczek’s new film, The New World


MONDAY, 12 MAY 2014


SESSION IV, 9.00-10.30

Chair: Prof Robert Fine (WarwickUniversity)

Prof. Sander Gilman (EmoryUniversity), Aliens vs. Predators: Cosmopolitan Jews vs. Jewish Nomads

Prof. Mica Nava (Universityof East London), Jews and Other Others: Cosmopolitan or Not?


Coffee break, 10.30-11.00


SESSION V, 11.00-12.30

Chair: Prof Philip Spencer (KingstonUniversity,London)

Prof Wayne Cristaudo (Charles Darwin UniversityNorthern TerritoryAustralia), Revolutions, World Wars and the Continuing Process of Redemptive Cosmopolitanism

Dr. Ilse Lazaroms (HebrewUniversityof Jerusalem), Hotel Patriots or Permanent Strangers? Joseph Roth, Transitory Lives, and the Literatures of Interwar Central Europe


Lunch break, 13.00-14.00


SESSION VI, 14.00-15.30

Chair: Prof Michael Keith (UniversityofOxford)

Prof. Philip Spencer (KingstonUniversity, London), Marxism, Cosmopolitanism and the Jews

Dr. Cathy Gelbin (Universityof Manchester), Rootless Cosmopolitans: East Germany and the Stalinist Persecutions of Jews


Coffee break, 15.30-16.00


SESSION VII, 16.00-17.30

Chair: Prof Sander Gilman (EmoryUniversity)

Dr. Xun Zhou (Universityof Essex), Being Jewish and Cosmopolitan: a Jewish experience in Hong Kong

Dr Claire Sutherland (DurhamUniversity), Essential Outsiders and the Search for Cosmopolitan Citizenship


Closing statements, 17.30-18.00


The conference will be held at Lecture Room 217, 2nd Floor,ArtsTwoBuilding, Queen Mary,University ofLondon,Mile End Road,LondonE1 4NS. The closest tube station is Mile End station, which is served by the Central, District and Hammersmith and City lines.