Journal Article — Editor’s Note: Historicizing Anti-Semitism — by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi




This is a note by the journal editor to the Spring 2009 issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-knowledge, focusing on “Historicizing Anti-Semitism.” He argues that, to be more faithful to the co-editor’s conceptual and historical analysis, it may be much more helpful, especially given the sociopolitical context of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict going back especially to the mid-twentieth century (if not earlier), to introduce a fourth type of its own to the three-fold typological model (of anti-Jewish antisemitism, anti-Arab/Muslim anti-semitism, and anti-Afro-Arab/Muslim anti-semitism), i.e., that of “semitic anti-semitism.” While the latter is significantly present and discussed at length as a possibility in the co-editors’ introduction, it is for some reason lacking in the overt typological modeling. What he would like to add in favor and as part of this addition, though, is the historical reality and possibility of what one may call “intra Jewish anti-semitism” and “intra Arab/Muslim anti-semitism.”

The editor concludes that the cultivation of the sociological imagination, the pursuit of what the sociology of self-knowledge also seeks in a different way and language, of reflexive understanding of one’s (personal and people’s) troubles in light of world-historical public issues, is not just a scholarly preference and slogan. Their pursuit can be liberating or their lack deadly. They go to the heart of what may prevent more holocausts subtly brewing amid the lands and peoples we occupy, the ghettos we engineer, the separation walls we build, and the presumably “legal” phosphorous bombs we dump on the innocent civilians we force into ever larger, desperately fragmented, concentration camps and slow-moving “trains” to the neverland. And history is a witness, if only we can learn the right lessons so as not to repeat it amid its manifold, slippery, world-historical typologies germinating anew in our here-and-now everyday lives.

Recommended Citation

Tamdgidi, Mohammad H., 2009. “Editor’s Note: Historicizing Anti-Semitism.” Pp. vii-x in Historicizing Anti-Semitism (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VII, Issue 2, 2009.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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