Central & Eastern European Jewish Studies Archive (2014-2015)

 

ENEMIES FOR A DAY: ANTI-JEWISH VIOLENCE IN RUSSIAN-RULED LITHUANIA

Dr Darius Staliunas (Institute of History, Vilnius)

Darius Staliunas has been deputy director of the Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius since 2000. He is the author of Making Russians. Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus after 1863 (2007). His research interests include Russian nationality policy in the so-called Northwestern Region (Lithuania and Belarus), ethnic conflicts, Jewish-Lithuanian co-operation in late Imperial Russia, as well as historiography and memory in Lithuania. Since 1997, he has been lecturering at Klaipeda University; prior to that he taught at the Military Academy of Lithuania and European Humanities University. D. Staliūnas is a member of the Science Council of the Herder Institute (Marburg, Germany); a member of the Lithuanian National Committee of Historians, as well as the Lithuanian-Russian Historical Commission. In 2009−2010, he was the chairman of the Academic Council of the Eastern European Jewish Culture and History Research Center (Vilnius). He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Ab Imperio, Studia z Dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, Central and East European Review, Pinkas: Annual of the Culture and History of East European Jewry, Lithuanian Historical Studies, Nordost-Archiv. Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte, Prace Historyczne, Lietuvos istorijos metraštis, Lietuvos istorijos studijos.

This paper explores the anti-Jewish violence in the Lithuanian lands of the Russian Empire. Specifically, it examines how widespread were anti-Jewish feelings among the Gentiles in the nineteenth century, placing the main focus on blood libel accusations, as well as the rise of modern anti-Semitism. The paper also attempts to reveal structural preconditions and situational triggers that helped to transform anti-Jewish sentiments into acts of collective violence. Putting the very nature of anti-Jewish violence in Lithuanian lands under scrutiny, the paper compares local pogroms to anti-Jewish violence in other regions of the Russian Empire. The ultimate goal of this paper is to explain the small scale of anti-Jewish violence in Lithuania. As I argue, pogroms in Lithuania followed a specific “communal” pattern of ethnic violence, which made them very different from deadly pogroms in other parts of the Russian Empire.

Date(s): Wednesday, 10/15 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 10/15 8:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities (Lower Level / Stevenson Hall)
Address: 701 South Morgan
Location: Chicago , Illinois
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: www.huminst.red.uic.edu
Phone: (312) 996-6352

"NARRATIVE SHOCK AND POLISH MEMORY REMAKING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY"

Genevieve Zubrzycki,  Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Michigan
Date(s): Thursday, 10/16 4:00 PM to Thursday, 10/16 6:00 PM
Campus Address: 1501 UH
Address: 601 S Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Imke Meyer
Phone: 312-996-6354

"POSSESSED BY THE PAST: DYBBUKS, POSTMEMORY, AND IDENTITY IN MODERN JEWISH CULTURE"

Agi Legutko
Director of the Yiddish Language Program at Columbia University, New York

The talk explores the artistic engagement with S. An-sky’s iconic Yiddish play The Dybbuk, Or Between Two Worlds in modern Jewish culture, and examines how the dybbuk possession motif and its connection with postmemory can serve as a key to modern Jewish identity. Come and get possessed!

Agi Legutko received her Ph.D. (with distinction) in Yiddish Studies at Columbia University in 2012. She is currently working on a manuscript exploring the trope of dybbuk possession in modern Jewish culture and its close connection to modern Jewish identity. Her publications have appeared in several journals and essay collections on Yiddish literature and culture, such as Cwiszn, Bridges, Lilith, Jewish Quarterly, and Silent Souls? Women in Yiddish Culture. She is the author of Krakow’s Kazimierz: Town of Partings and Returns, a historical guidebook to the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, (published in English and Polish, 2004, 2009). Apart from her fascination with dybbuks (wandering souls possessing living bodies), her research interests include women, gender, trauma, memory, performance, and the body represented in modern Jewish literature, film, theater, and culture.

Date(s): Thursday, 3/19 12:30 PM to Thursday, 3/19 2:30 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities
Address: 701 South Morgan Street
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352