Jews and Jewish Religion in Western Postwar Fiction Film

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th May 2019

International conference at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Georg August Universität Göttingen in partnership with the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Leo Baeck Institute London, and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden (IGdJ).

The Post-war West often understands itself as an enlightened society. Yet religion, and Judaism more specifically, appear time and again in Western European films. This workshop discusses the presence of Judaism in Post-war fiction films. What is the role and the function of Judaism in Post-war films in Western Europe – after the Holocaust and given the fact that Jews are a minority? Are these films symptoms of wider currents of attitudes towards minorities and religion in Western Post-war societies? Do they reflect on specific national issues in the respective countries? How are these subjects, in post-1945 cinema, also an expression of memory politics and changing attitudes towards the state of Israel?
The workshop will focus on American, French, British, German and Israeli films, including biographic films, family histories, and explorations of multi-faith immigrant societies. In a comparative perspective, we also aim to ask how these representations of Judaism differ from Israeli productions – for whom the minority/majority question presents itself rather differently. The international workshop explicitly takes the disciplinary perspective of film studies for reflecting on the visual and narrative representation of Judaism in Western Post-war film.


Monday, 27th May

10:00-10:15 Martin van Gelderen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg), Daniel Wildmann (Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Leo Baeck Institute London), Andreas Brämer (Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden)
Welcome and Introduction

Panel 1 Judaism in British Film (Chair: Daniel Wildmann)

10:20-10:45 Nathan Abrams (Prifysgol Bangor University)
“Cops and Robbers: Jewish Policemen and Gangsters on Contemporary British TV”

10:45-11:10 Sue Vice (University of Sheffield)
“Jews, Israel and British Television Drama: The Little Drummer Girl (BBC, 2018)”

11:10-11:20 N.N.


11:20-12:15 Discussion

12:15-13:30 Lunch

Panel 2 Judaism in French and Spanish Film (Chair: Andreas Brämer)

13:35-14:00 Dinah Assouline Stillman (University of Oklahoma)
“Grapes of Wrath or Concord: Muslim-Jewish Relations in French Cinema in the Wake of the Intifadas”

14:00-14:25 Asher Salah (Bezalel Academy Jerusalem)
“The image of the Jew in the Spanish Cinema”

14:25-14:35 Sebastian Schirrmeister (University Of Wien)


14:35-15:30 Discussion

15:30-15:45 Coffee Break

Panel 3 Judaism in German-speaking Film (Chair: Britta Korkowsky)

15:50-16:15 Klaus Davidowicz (University of Wien)
“The Haunted Past – Representations of Jews in Austrian Film”

16:15-16:40 Hilla Lavie (Koebner Center, University of Jerusalem)
“To Cut or not to Cut? Jewish Dilemmas in Post-War German Films”

16:40-16:50 Andreas Brämer


16:50-17:45 Discussion

Tuesday, 28th May

Panel 4 Judaism in American Film (Chair: Andreas Brämer)

10:05-10:30 Shaina Hammerman (University of San Francisco)
“Hard-Core Jews: Woody Allen's Religious Women and Men”

10:30-10:55 Joel Rosenberg (Tufts University)
“The Link: Jewish Rites of Generational Continuity in American Postwar Cinema”

10:55-11:05 Daniel Wildmann


11:05-12:00 Discussion

12:00-13:30 Lunch

Panel 5 Israeli Film (Chair: Daniel Wildmann)

13:35-14:00 Dana Masad (Open University)
“National marginal voice in Lehi cinematic representation and the Mizrahi contemporary cinema”

14:00-14:25 Assaf Shelleg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
“Muting Hebrewist Paradigms“

14:25-14:35 Asher Salah

14:35-15:30 Discussion

15:30-15:45 Coffee Break

15:45-16:30 Closing Remarks and final Discussion

For further information and bookings, please contactDr Kora Baumbach