CFP: ‘Jews, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism’

CFP: ‘Jews, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism’, 2-4 January 2013, University of Cape Town
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This international and interdisciplinary Conference is jointly organised by the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research (University of Cape Town), the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations (University of Southampton), and the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies (University of Sydney).

The conference seeks to explore the connections and intersections between Jews, colonialism, and postcolonialism. The existing scholarly literature, mainly following the work of Paul Gilroy, has begun to recognise this conjunction in a variety of ways whether in relation to ‘multidirectional memory’ (Michael Rothberg), ‘the crisis of postcolonial culture’ (Aamir Mufti), or the exclusions of ‘disciplinary thinking’ (Bryan Cheyette). But there is still a need to bring together these sometimes contradictory approaches and to begin to constitute this topic as a new field of comparative studies.

Proposals are welcome from those who want to promote theoretical engagement between Jewish and postcolonial studies as well as those providing more detailed case studies – including from all periods and all places – relating to the history, sociology, and anthropology of Jews (as both ‘white’ and ‘not quite’) in relation to colonialism and postcolonialism. This conference is part of a growing attempt to explore the substantial ways in which these fields inform each other. We welcome papers – theoretical and case studies – covering all chronologies and locations, including discussions of Jews in imperial contexts from antiquity to the present day. Papers are also welcome on how these tensions and intersections have been articulated in the cultural sphere, including, for example, art, film, literature, museums, music and television.

Please send proposals, maximum of 250 words, and a brief biography by 1 September 2012 to:

Dr James Jordan ( and Dr Shirli Gilbert (

The Kaplan Centre will provide four nights’ accommodation for those presenting papers at the conference.

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