This conference reflects on the complex dynamic between Jewish Studies and Israel Studies, the growing academic discipline devoted to the study of the modern State of Israel. While Jewish Studies focuses on topics pertinent to Jewish cultures and relations between Jews and non-Jews, Israel Studies addresses a variety of questions dealing with Israel’s vibrant and diverse society, which encompasses many groups, both Jewish and non-Jewish, whose visions of the State of Israel are complex and multi-dimensional.

In particular, we ask whether we are witnessing a shift from Jewish Studies to Israel Studies. To what degree can Israel Studies replace or complement Jewish Studies? What are the chances and risks associated with this shift? This discussion has implications beyond researching and teaching about Israel for instance when some voices have also questioned the influence of foundations and think tanks on the field of Israel Studies. What does this criticism imply or reveal?

In bringing together junior and established scholars, the two-day conference aims to provide the setting for in-depth discussion on the place and multifaceted meanings of Israel Studies in Europe, the United States, and Israel. The organizers invite proposals for 20- minute papers that engage with these and related themes. Abstracts should be no more than 200 words and be submitted alongside a brief biography (including professional affiliation and contact details) by August 1, 2017 to the email addresses below. Successful candidates will be notified by September 15, 2017. Following a peer review process selected conference papers will be published in the series Lexington Studies in Modern Jewish History, Historiography, and Memory.

Limited budget might be available to support travel expenses and lodging, but participants will be encouraged to cover travel costs with their own funds.
For further enquiries please contact both:
Klaus Hoedl (Center for Jewish Studies, University of Graz): klaus.hoedl@uni-graz.at
Carsten Schapkow (Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies, University of Oklahoma): cschapkow@ou.edu