International Workshop: Jewish Commercial Cultures in Global Perspective

Страна: США

Город: Bloomington

Тезисы до: 15.03.2015

Даты: 11.10.15 — 12.10.15

Область наук: Культурология;

Е-мейл Оргкомитета:

Организаторы: Indiana University


The Borns Jewish Studies Program and the Department of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, invite proposals for papers to be presented at a workshop on Jewish commercial cultures in global perspective. The workshop will take place in October, 11-12, 2015 and will feature new research on Jews and commerce in the modern period, in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. We seek paper proposals specifically from junior scholars (advanced PhD, post-doctoral and early career historians) whose work will be engaged by established Jewish, economic, and global historians participating as keynote speakers, panel discussants and roundtable participants.


The workshop aims to introduce the notion of “Jewish commercial cultures” to discussions about networks, mobility, empires, migration and material life. We welcome especially proposals that examine Jewish merchants beyond trading diaspora frameworks, the overly determining contexts of “family” and “community”, or discuss their stereotypical representations in non-Jewish and anti-Jewish discourses. This includes approaches that view Jewish merchants anew as commercial citizens and legal agents in various regional and global settings from the  early 18th- to the mid-20th centuries, a period shaped by the interrelated processes of an expanding modern culture (and technology) of commerce and the expansion and retraction of western and non-western empires. Topics for consideration may include:

-          Intra- and cross-ethnic networks and relations and commercial litigation

-          Formation and the cultural meanings of trust between sub-Jewish and Jewish-gentile business networks

-          Epistolary and other communicative practices

-          The interplay between Jewish merchants and economic, communal, urban and national institutions

-          The changing legal status and Jewish institutional participation in chambers of commerce, stock exchanges, commercial tribunals, etc.

-          The formation of Jewish business elites

-          The overlap of Jewish urban, communal and commercial networks and the impact of commerce on urban culture such as the relation between the commercial sphere and the public sphere.

-          The link between professional, ethnic and cosmopolitan identities in national, colonial, and imperial settings

-          Commerce, acculturation and Jewish emancipation


Highlighting the multiple ‘spatialities’ and mobilities of Jewish merchants, the workshop will bring Jewish, trans-local and Global history into dialogue with one another. We welcome approaches that move beyond nation-state frameworks and explore urban, trans-national and/or trans-imperial spaces as well as borderlands and oceans.


The workshop will bring together 12 junior scholars of history and related disciplines (advanced graduate students, postdocs, and assistant professors (or equivalent). Graduate students should be ABD (candidates, who have completed all their qualifying PhD exams), should have completed research and be in the process of writing their dissertation.

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