Subject: 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 Jahrbücher). 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:
Other suggestions welcome!

For information about this GSA conference, please visit the website:

Suggestions should reach the panel organisers by 9 February 2007 (contact
details below).

Please share this call with any one who might be interested in contributing.

Best wishes,

Marcel Stoetzler and Christine Achinger


Dr. Marcel Stoetzler (University of Manchester); [log in to unmask]
Dr. Christine Achinger (University of Warwick);
[log in to unmask]
Dr. Christine Achinger
Department of German Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Tel.: 02476-15 03 88

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