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JS Lecture Series - Laura Almagor - Forgotten Agents of History: The Jewish Territorialist Movement (1905-1960)

The CEU Campus
Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

JEWISH STUDIES PROGRAMcordially invites you to a lecture by

Laura Almagor

(Jewish Studies Postdoctoral Fellow, Central European University)

Forgotten Agents of History: The Jewish Territorialist Movement (1905-1960)

Creating a home for Jews outside both Europe and Palestine. This was the main aim of the so-called Jewish Territorialists, who, following the 1905 Uganda Controversy in the Zionist Movement, sought to establish agro-industrial settlements for Jews on colonial lands. The Territorialists explored possibilities around the globe: in Angola, Australia, Madagascar, French and British Guiana, and Suriname, amongst other places. The nowadays largely forgotten transnational biographies of the movement's leaders and activists help to reveal the multi-faceted nature of Jewish politics both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. At the same time, the activities of these historiographically obscured individuals may assist to formulate new interpretations of geopolitical developments—changes and continuities—from the interwar to the post-1945 period. For instance, much can be gained from analyzing the connection between Territorialism and colonialism, as well as the movement's involvement with the postwar Displaced Persons issue. Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill (1864-1926), author of literary classics such as Children of the Ghetto and The Melting Pot, was the first leader of the Territorialist movement. He was succeeded as of the late 1930s by Russian émigré politician Isaac N. Steinberg (1888-1957), who had briefly served as Commissar of Justice under Lenin in 1917. The remarkable life and career stories of these two central Territorialist leaders will form the starting points for this exploration of the history of Jewish Territorialism.

Tuesday, September 26 at 6 p.m.
Gellner Room, Monument Building

Laura Almagor is the 2017/2018 postdoctoral fellow in Jewish Studies at the CEU. She was a 2016/2017 Prins Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, and a 2015/2016 junior fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. In 2015, she defended her doctoral dissertation, dealing with the history of the Jewish Territorialist movement, at the European University Institute in Florence. Almagor is in the process of turning her dissertation into a book publication, while also working on new projects dealing with displacement and refugee issues, migration and geopolitical discourses in the directly post-1945 period, and with transnational biographies. She has published in the fields of modern Jewish studies, religion studies, and military history.