Historicizing Anti-Semitism

Proceedings of the International Conference on the Post-September 11th New Ethnic/Racial Configurations in Europe and the United States: The Case of Anti-Semitism Maison des Science de l’Home (MSH) Paris, June 29-30, 2007

Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Volume VII • Issue 2 • Spring 2009

Journal Editor:
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, UMass Boston

Issue Co-Editors:

  • Lewis R. Gordon, Temple University
  • Ramón Grosfoguel, U.C. Berkeley
  • Eric Mielants, Fairfield University


The articles collected in this Spring 2009 (VII, 2) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge entitled “Historicizing Anti-Semitism” were part of an international conference entitled, “The Post-September 11 New Ethnic/Racial Configurations in Europe and the United States: The Case of Anti-Semitism,” organized by Lewis Gordon and Ramón Grosfoguel at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris on June 29–30, 2007. Part of a series inaugurated by a discussion on Islamophobia, they brought a majority Jewish group of scholars together in the hope of bringing to the forum a critical exchange and conversation among the participants. The articles gathered here do not represent a unified voice but those often unheard in discussions of anti-Semitism. The focus on anti-Semitism in this collection raises the question of how ancient and Medieval versions of anti-Jewish practices should be interpreted, especially since even the term “Semite” came about as an effort in eighteenth-century French and German scholarship to organize Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew under a single linguistic nomenclature, which was crystallized in the nineteenth century in the work of the French scholar Ernest Renan. Contributors include: Lewis R. Gordon (also as journal issue guest editor), Ramón Grosfoguel (also as journal issue guest editor), Eric Mielants (also as journal issue guest editor), David Ost, James Cohen, Santiago E. Slabodsky, Rabson Wuriga, Walter Mignolo, Ramón Grosfoguel, Marc H. Ellis, Etienne Balibar, Ivan Davidson Kalmar, Martine Chard-Hutchinson, Michael Löwy, Jean-Paul Rocchi and Mohammad H. Tamdgidi (also as journal editor-in-chief). Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge is a publication of OKCIR: The Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science (Utopystics). For more information about OKCIR and other issues in its journal’s Edited Collection as well as Monograph and Translation series visit OKCIR’s homepage.

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vii—Editor’s Note: Historicizing Anti-Semitism
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, University of Massachusetts Boston

1—Global Anti-Semitism in World-Historical Perspective: An Introduction
Issue Co-Editors: Lewis R. Gordon, Temple University; Ramón Grosfoguel, U.C. Berkeley; and Eric Mielants, Fairfield University

15—Anti-Semitism in the Peculiar Context of Eastern Europe
David Ost, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

23—The Accusation of Anti-Semitism as Moral Blackmail: Conservative Jews in France and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
James Cohen, Université de Paris VIII, France

35—“But there are no longer any anti-Semites!”: Vicious Circles, Jewish Destinies, and a Complementary Framework to Read De-colonial Discourses
Santiago E. Slabodsky, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

53—Role and Impact of Intellectual Factor in the 18th-20th Centuries’ European Conception of ‘Jews as Jews’: A Revisitation
Rabson Wuriga, Temple University

69—Dispensable and Bare Lives: Coloniality and The Hidden Political/Economic Agenda of Modernity
Walter Mignolo, Duke University

89—Human Rights and Anti-Semitism after GAZA
Ramón Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley

103—On Jewish Particularity and Anti-Semitism: Notes From a Jewish Theology of Liberation
Marc H. Ellis, Baylor University

123—“God will not remain silent”: Zionism, Messianism and Nationalism
Etienne Balibar, University of Paris, France

135—Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: The Formation of a Secret
Ivan Davidson Kalmar, University of Toronto, Canada

145—‘Perpetual Fear’: Repetition and Fantasy in The Plot against America by Philip Roth
Martine Chard-Hutchinson, Institut Charles V- Université Paris Diderot, France

151—Franz Kafka’s Trial and the Anti-Semitic Trials of His Time
Michael Löwy, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), France

159—Dying Metaphors and Deadly Fantasies: Freud, Baldwin and Race as Intimacy
Jean-Paul Rocchi, Université Paris-Diderot (Paris 7), France