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Conference Report: "Antisemitism: A Useful Category of Analysis?" (Jerusalem, July 29, 2013) August 3, 2013), the International Consortium for Research on Antisemitism and Racism (ICRAR) organized a panel entitled "Antisemitism: A Useful Category of Analysis?" Inspired by Joan Wallach Scott's pathbreaking 1986 article, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," (*The American Historical Review*) this panel aimed to contextualize and historicize the term 'antisemitism' and inquire about the possibility of alternative terms and research strategies that might provide more nuance and analytical clarity. The panel was introduced by Scott Ury, Director of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, at Tel Aviv University, who noted that the study of antisemitism has long had an ambivalent relationship with the field of Jewish Studies. Attributing this ambivalence to the tension between academic research and policy pursuits, on the one hand, and the representation of the past and the demands of the present, on the other, Ury asked whether it was possible or even desirable to confront and overcome the intersecting tenions embedded within the study of antisemitism. The first paper, "When Antisemitism came to Britain," was delivered by David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck College, University of London. Feldman drew attention to the changing meanings of "antisemitism" by showing how British intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century made sense 'antisemitism.' In a close reading of LucienWolf's writings, Feldman showed how this British-Jewish journalist, communal activist and diplomat used this term primarily in reference to political efforts to restrict the legal and civil rights of the Jews, and not in reference to anti-Jewish violence during and after World War I. Feldman suggested that the concept of 'antisemitism' is not merely descriptive, but also reflects the ways in which Jews and non-Jews have understood and experienced the world. He observed that current disputes over the meaning and content of antisemitism continuation of a long history of debate and contention over the meaning of 'antisemitism.' ** The second paper, "Belief and Disposition: Examples from the German Context," was delivered by Amos Morris-Reich, Director of the Bucerius Institure for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa. Morris-Reich proposed an analytical model for addressing beliefs about Jews that are found in the history of science. Noting that the literature on antisemitism generally assumes that beliefs about Jewish influence and power are either delusional or authentic, Morris-Reich sought a model that neither equates belief with reality nor subjects reality to the register of belief. Drawing on analytic philosophy, he distinguished between 'belief' (something which is taken as true without questioning) and 'disposition' (a potential property of an object but not an actual one), arguing that these concepts do actually allow for the analysis of beliefs about Jews on the register of belief. Taking examples from German history of science, Morris-Reich argued that, in certain respects, the dispositions of certain beliefs, rather than an analysis of these beliefs per se, are a stronger analytical and historical instrument for the study of antisemitism. The third paper, "A Useful Category of Analysis? The Place of Antisemitism in the Study of Stalin's Jewish Policies," was delivered by Dimitry Shumsky, Senior Lecturer for the History of Zionism and Modern Nationalism in the Department for the History of the Jewish People and Director of the Cherrick Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Shumsky examined the Stalinist anti-Jewish campaign between 1948 and 1953, a period known in historiography as "the black years of Soviet Jewry," which culminated in the "Doctors' Plot" of 1952-53 By examining and reinterpreting recently discovered sources and placing them in the broader context of Stalinist ideology and nationalities policy rather than the traditional paradigm of antisemitism, Shumsky showed how Stalin's Jewish policy in this period constituted a gradual move toward the exclusion of Jews from the Soviet socio-ethnic body, including their partial removal to the Jewish autonomous region of Birobidzhan. While certain basic abstract premises that may have pointed to such a move on a theoretical level were formulated as part of early Stalinist ideology concerning socialism, nationalism and the "Jewish question," Shumsky showed that the Soviet authorities began to perceive the concrete implementation of this move as being necessary and feasible in the face of the specific historical circumstances that evolved in the Soviety Union during the late 1940s, in the wake of the war and the Soviet-Jewish intelligentsia's reaction to the Holocaust. Stefanie Schuler-Springorum, Director of the Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Technical University, Berlin, responded to these papers, noting that all three made a passionate call for context. They took up the challenge posed by David Engel in his critical 2009 essay, "Away from a Definition of Antisemitism," (*Rethinking European Jewish History*) and showed that, with analytical clarity and nuanced contextualization, the term 'antisemitism' can provide new historical insights. Morris-Reich's paper, for example, can open our eyes to the dangers implicit in certain scientific belief systems, like genetics, which enjoys wide acceptance. Shumsky warns us against the pitfalls of simplistic, reductionist interpretations of history, and Feldman against anachronistic or decontextualized readings of historical texts. As Schuler-Springorum noted, the title of the conference panel differs in one important respect from the Joan Wallach Scott article on Gender that inspired it: the question mark at the end of the panel title. Hence, this panel was the beginning of an important discussion that will hopefully bring more analytic clarity to the term 'antisemitism' and its varied scholarly uses. --- Michael L. Miller Central European University Budapest, Hungary -- Yocheved "Yo" Menashe H-Net Certified Editor H-Antisemitism & H-Holocaust H-Net Council H-Net Networks & Teaching Committees --