CFP: Meetings and Movements of Jewish People & Artifacts across Cold-War Boundaries

Deadline: January 14, 2022

The political discourses of the Cold War, and of the first decades of reflection following the regime changes in Central Europe in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, portrayed a world divided by ideology and bifurcated by militarized borders. We seek to explore areas and moments of contact between Jews and Jewish communities across Cold-War boundaries, with the goal of deepening our understanding of the Cold War as a global phenomenon, and of shared cultural patterns across its divides. We aim to include works which cover a broad geographical scope, including the USSR, but without centering experiences with that state. Proposals pertaining to southeastern and central Europe, as well as to capitalist regions beyond the USA are desired.

Topics may include the meetings, frameworks, and strategies of individuals and organizations, as well as the circulation of artifacts and capital. We are interested in how local, national, and bloc politics conditioned the varied initiatives and experiences of stakeholders, while also widening our focus to appreciate what so many instances of cross-boundary “contact” may teach us about the Cold War, in this case, with specific attention to Jewish politics, culture, and life in the postwar world.

Scholars working on questions outside the fields of statecraft and community organization are encouraged to apply, including those researching areas where Jewish cultures and politics intersected with the concerns of other communities and family life.

We seek to include scholars at all career stages, including advanced graduate students (ABD only). We are committed to achieving diversity among participants. Minoritized scholars are encouraged to apply.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to a roundtable scheduled for the December 2021 meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies, which will introduce and explore some of these themes. (Attendance will not affect acceptance into the symposium.)

TO APPLY, please send a proposal of no more than 250 words to by January 14, 2022. Please also attach a CV of no more than two pages. We will send invitations to participate by February 18, 2021

Date:                     Sunday, May 22 – Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Location:              Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH

Organizers:         Rebekah Klein-Pejšová (Purdue) and Jacob Ari Labendz (YSU)

Sponsors:             The Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies at YSU

                                The Jewish Studies Program at Purdue University

More Info:           Webpage (

Questions and Submission: