The question of antisemitism encompasses a dispute between “eternalists,” who believe in the perpetual continuity of anti-Jewish sentiments throughout history, and “contextualists,” who regard each instance in its own time, place and situation.
This lecture aims to reflect and question this dichotomy and reconstruct the history of antisemitism through an investigation of the various definitions used to address the problem. While admitting a certain degree of continuity, it nevertheless places the emphasis on the intellectual, cultural, and social meaning of antisemitism in particular contexts.
It will, furthermore, implicitly take into account the recent historiographical debates which have expanded and challenged the analysis of the phenomenon in the last years. The lecture will address the mythopoetic quality of anti-Jewish prejudices and explore the dynamic by which these myths are capable of reproducing themselves over time, not in spite of but precisely due to the absence of evidence. Specific examples of superstitions, beliefs, and “loci communi,” which nurtured anti-Jewish mythologies such as the blood libel and the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, will illustrate the discursive strategies employed in the creation and perpetuation of these murderous myhts.
After this lecture, General director of Kazerne Dossin Tomas Baum will virtually guide you through the exhibition #FakeImages
Manuela Consonni is The Pela and Adam Starkopf Chair in Holocaust Studies and the Director of The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
is General Director of Kazerne Dossin.