SE "Judeities". Legal, political, social and cultural history of the Jews in the modern period

The objective of this seminar is to engage with the legal, political, social and cultural history of Jews and Jewries in the modern period, from the 16th century to the present. As far as legal history is concerned the seminar focuses on three areas, first, the significance of early modern legal pluralism for the accommodation of Jews and their law, second, the implication of Art. 19 of the Austrian Staatsgrundgesetz for the reinvention of Jews as a modern nation and third, the question to which extent it may be helpful to interpret some of the constitutional challenges of the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories in the light of the historical experiences of the Habsburg Empire and its successor states.

Topics of student presentations in the past included, for example, The proscription of Eisenmenger’s Entdecktes Judentum by the Imperial Aulic Council, The Josephinian Edicts of Toleration for the Jews, The emancipation of Italian Jews, The Dreyfus Affair, Are the Jews an Austrian nation in the sense of Art. 19 Staatsgrundgesetz?, Theodor Herzl’s Demand for a National Home for the Jews secured by public law, the Legal Condition of Greek Jews, The extension of Spanish citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain.

The seminar was iniatiated as a by-product of the research cluster „The Jewish Holy Roman Empire“. In addition to students‘ presentations it provides a platform for guest lecturers from Vienna, Austria  and abroad within the framework of the „Jour Fixe on Modern Jewish History“. This semester the seminar co-hosts the Vienna Jewish Studies Colloquium (VJSC) together with the CEU and other Viennese institutions active in Jewish studies.