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April 10-12, 2016

This three-day conference—featuring academic panel discussions, two keynote lectures, and student research—delved into the history of antisemitism and explore the topic from a scholarly viewpoint.

Scholarly conference at UNC.april2016




Sunday, April 10 Welcome
3:00 pm

Ruth von Bernuth, Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

Panel 1: The Origins of Anti-Judaism
3:00-4:45 pm

Bart Ehrman, Department of Religious Studies, UNC: “From the Jewish Jesus to the Anti-Jewish Church”

Sara Lipton, Stony Brook University (SUNY): “What’s in a Nose?  On the Origins, Evolution, and Implications of the Antisemitic Caricature”

Opening lecture
5:00-6:30 pm

Opening Remarks: Kevin Guskiewicz, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Speaker Introduction: Karen Auerbach, Stuart E. Eizenstat Fellow, Department of History, UNC

Stuart Eizenstat: “21st Century Challenges to the Jewish World: The Return of Antisemitism Seventy Years After the Holocaust”

Monday, April 11

Panel 2: From Medieval to Modern Antijudaism and Antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East

9:00 am -12:00 pm

Oded Zinger, Duke University: “Is There ‘a Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism’?”

Magda Teter, Fordham University: “The Theological Jew and the Historical Jew in Jewish-Christian Relations”

Hans Joachim Hahn, Aachen University: “On the Origins of Antisemitism: Aspects of an Ongoing Debate”

Panel 3: The Struggle over the Memory of the Holocaust

1:30-4:30 pm

Chairs: Robin Buller, Max Lazar and Daniela Weiner

Antony Polonsky, Chief Historian of POLIN, Museum of History of Polish Jews: “Coming to Terms with the ‘Dark Past’: Confronting the Holocaust in Poland and Lithuania”

Alon Confino, University of Virginia/Ben Gurion University of the Negev: “How did the Nazis Interpret Anew the Jewish Past and How Do Some Jews Today Interpret Anew the Holocaust Past?”

Nicolas Berg, Simon-Dubnow Institute: “The Völkish Goethe in the Early 20th Century: Antisemitic Scholarship from Adolf Bartels to Wolfgang Martini”

Poster session and discussion with undergraduate students
5:00-7:00 pm Reception in the Atrium

7:00-7:30 pm Keynote lecture

Speaker Introduction: Yaakov Ariel, associate director for the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

James Carroll: “Jesus, ‘the Jews,’ and the Abuse of Memory: Get Back to Work”

Tuesday, April 12

Panel 4: From Mainstream to Extreme: Conceptions of Jews in Europe and America

9:00 am -12:00 pm

Yaakov Ariel, Department of Religious Studies, UNC: “Neither Antisemitism nor Philosemitism: Mainstream American Christian Attitudes Towards Judaism and Jews”

Jean-Yves Camus, Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques: “The French Extreme-Right, Israel and the Jews: Is the Old Hatred Still Alive?”

Guenther Jikeli, University of Indiana: “European Muslim Antisemitism”

Panel 5: Antisemitism today: Round Table Discussion with Journalists

1:30-4:00 pm
Chair: Karen Auerbach, UNC

Sam Freedman, New York Times

Yair Rosenberg, Tablet Magazine

Konstanty Gebert, Columnist for Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

Damian Pachter, freelance reporter

Final Remarks

4:00-4:30 pm
Chair: Ruth von Bernuth

Antony Polonsky, Chief Historian of POLIN, Museum of History of Polish Jews

Jonathan Hess, Moses M. and Hannah L. Malkin Distinguished Professor, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, UNC

Flora Cassen, JMA and Sonja van der Horst Fellow in Jewish History and Culture, Department of  History, UNC

Please note: Saturday, April 9: Facing Antisemitism through the Ages
The day prior to the conference, the Center and the UNC Program for the Humanities will hold the annual Uhlman Family Seminar for the general public and K-12 educators, which will feature speakers from the antisemitism conference.This will require a separate registration.

Director’s Message

Hate speeches and attacks against people of different faiths and backgrounds are reported daily—be it in Buenos Aires, Paris, San Bernardino, and recently even in Greensboro, NC. Antisemitism is part of this violence and the associated rhetoric often recycles antijewish and antisemitic ideas with an old backstory. Current discussions and tensions at American universities as well as events in Europe, South America, and elsewhere have spurred faculty and the board of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies to envision a conference to reconsider antisemitism in the past and the present.

The conference will gather scholars and journalists from four continents to present current scholarship and views on antisemitism. It will be the first major conference organized by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. We designed it in such a way that students and experts, graduate students and K-12 teachers, as well as faculty and the general public, will have many opportunities to discuss topics and to learn from each other. Our undergraduate students will not only attend lectures, but many of them will also participate in poster presentations, which show results of courses taught in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, among them Flora Cassen’s “Antisemitism: History, Causes, Consequences” and Jonathan Hess’ “Germans, Jews, and the History of Antisemitism.” Our graduate students are also involved in the conference organization on all levels. For example, graduate students will introduce the speakers at the conference and will chair the panel discussions. The presentations of the scholars will leave ample time to discuss their talks. We will also bring in a group of journalists to talk about current events. We hope to give our own campus community an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in scholarship on antisemitism and to start a communication, which will reach beyond the three packed days of the conference program.

Let me conclude with a special thank you to our donors for their support of the conference. Without their generous help we would not be able to provide the space and bring in this group of experts. I would also like to thank all faculty members, graduate students, and the administration of the College of Arts and Science for their help with the conference planning. I hope that many of you will be able to attend the conference.


Ruth von Bernuth

Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

Associate Professor, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

(919) 962-4866

Undergraduate Research Posters

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies requested original, innovative posters created by Carolina’s undergraduate students that related to the topic of antisemitism. Selected posters were presented at a poster session on Monday, April 11, 2016 as part of the Reconsidering Antisemitism academic conference.

Posters were based on either work that was done for a University course or as independent, extra-curricular research. Exceptional presentations were eligible for prizes. The winners (shown at right) were (in alphabetical order):


Ramon Alarcon, “Jewish Representation in English Theater: Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Marlowe’s Jew of MaltaAS2016.studentposter.Alarcon.Final_
Ashley Cooper, Jacob Greenblatt, Elizabeth Yoder, “Anti-Jewish Bias in Medieval Christian Art” AS2016.studentposter.Cooper.Final_
Christopher S. McIlveen, “Antisemitism in the Virtual World: The Rise of ‘Anon’” AS2016.studentposter.McIlveen.Final_
Allyson Yelton, “German-Jewish Art and Antisemitism in the 19th Century” AS2016.studentposter.Yelton.Final_
 Additional posters:



Uhlman Seminar 2016

Prejudices in Print: Reading European Antisemitism

This year’s annual Uhlman Seminar will once again feature an “active reading” format. Our four speakers have chosen texts from four eras of European history—medieval, early modern, nineteenth century, and twentieth century—that trace the history of European antisemitism through the ages. This seminar will feature brief contextual lectures followed by guided discussions with all of our scholars acting as discussion leaders. We will delve into the twisted logic of religious hatred and its implications for the Jewish people, their society, and the general trajectory of Jewish/Gentile relations in Europe. Participants should come to the seminar with texts read and a willingness to share in this important dialogue. This seminar has limited capacity, so sign up early to get a seat.

Topics & Speakers

Ritual Murder Texts from the 12th to the 21st Century
Flora Cassen, Assistant Professor of History and JMA and Sonja Van der Horst Fellow in Jewish History and Culture

Luther and the Jews
Ruth von Bernuth, Associate Professor of German and Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

Secularism and Antisemitism
Jonathan M. Hess, Moses M. and Hannah L. Malkin Distinguished Professor of Jewish History and Culture

“Nation and Race:” Key Concepts of National Socialist Antisemitism
Hans-Joachim Hahn, Lecturer in Cultural and Literary Studies, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Antisemitism in Europe, Past and Present
A panel discussion with our speakers

Pre-registration is required. For more event information and to register, please visit the Program in the Humanities web site.

Conference Donors and CosponsorsThe Antisemitism Conference is made possible by private support. The Center is grateful for the following generous donors and their shared commitment to the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.* If you’d like to learn more about making a gift to support this important conference, please contact the Arts and Sciences Foundation at (919) 962-0108.


  • David Birnbaum
  • Peter ’80 and Heather ’80 Boneparth
  • Jonathan ’88 and Edith Fassberg
  • Alan ’60, ’65 and Gail Fields
  • Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community
  • Rebecca Goz
  • Hal ’78 and Holly ’83 Levinson
  • Felix Lurye ’03
  • Toby Osofsky ’03
  • Adam Parker
  • The Primerica Foundation
  • Marion Meyer-Robboy and Stanley Robboy
  • Heather Rodin
  • Adele and David Roth
  • Eric ’80 and Lori Sklut
  • Ugo Te Goetzl
  • Jay Tanenbaum
  • Barry Turner
  • Heath ’77 and Jane Tuttle
  • Susan ’79 and Robert Wittenstein
  • Lori Wittlin ’95 and Bradley Lewis
  • The Center is also grateful for a $10,000 grant from The Leon Levine Foundation, Charlotte, N.C.

The Center also appreciates our co-sponsors for the conference, who are lending assistance with planning, outreach, and/or financial support*:

  • UNC College of Arts and Sciences
  • UNC School of Media and Journalism
  • UNC Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • UNC Center for Slavic, East Euro and Eurasian Studies
  • UNC Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • UNC Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
  • Duke Center for Jewish Studies

Photos and Videos

We have added all of the videos for the conference, links are provided below. On our Vimeo site you can also see videos from the conference, as well as of other lectures hosted by the Center in recent years.






Sunday, April 10, 2016

 Bart Ehrman, Panel 1 Video

 Sarah Lipton, Panel 1 Video

 Stuart Eizenstat, Opening Lecture Video


Monday, April 11, 2016

 Graduate students chairing panel 2

 Oded Zinger, Panel 2 Video

 Magda Teter, Panel 2 Video

 Hans Joachim Hahn, Panel 2 Video

 Antony Polonsky, Panel 3 Video

 Nicolas Berg, Alon Confino, Panel 3 [with Yair Rosenberg]

Confino Video   Berg Video

 Undergraduate Research Poster Session

 Undergraduate Research Poster Session

 Graduate students – judges of the poster session

 Food truck dinner

 Presenting the awards to the undergraduates

 Top Undergraduate Research Posters

 Yaakov Ariel introducing James Carroll

 James Carroll Video


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

 Graduate students chairing panel 4

 Jean-Yves Camus, via Skype, panel 4 Video

 Guenther Jikeli, panel 4 Video

 Yaakov Ariel, panel 4 Video

 Journalist Round Table, panel 5  Video

 Closing Remarks Video

 Dinner with undergraduates/UNC Hillel




Program Guide AS.2016.program-book.final_
Please note a schedule
change was made after
we went to press.The Sunday evening
lecture will now begin
at 5:00 p.m.
Schedule: AS2016.Reconsidering-Antisemitism-UNC-Conference.agenda.mar9web
Press Release: Scholarly conference at UNC.april2016
Abstracts AS2016.Reconsidering-Antisemitism-UNC-Conference.abstracts.jan21web

Press Release: Reconsidering Antisemitism

Scholarly conference at UNC-Chapel Hill to explore antisemitism


For immediate use

Scholarly conference at UNC-Chapel Hill to explore antisemitism

Carolina Center for Jewish Studies gathers scholars, journalists, students and the public to explore antisemitism’s past and present


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Jan. 26, 2016) – The Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is hosting a three-day scholarly conference, April 10-12, to explore the historical and present-day resurgence of antisemitism in many parts of the world (including North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa).


“Reconsidering Antisemitism: Past and Present” will take place at the William and Ida Friday Conference Center and will feature more than 15 leading scholars from throughout the United States, France, Germany and Israel. The event will consist of two evening lectures and a series of in-depth panel discussions.


Stuart Eizenstat, a 1964 graduate who has held senior U.S. government positions in three presidential administrations, will give the opening talk on April 10. James Carroll, author of 11 novels and eight works of nonfiction, will give the keynote lecture on April 11.


Panel discussions will focus on the origins of anti-Judaism; the struggle over the memory of the Holocaust; medieval to modern antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East; and conceptions of Jews in Europe and America. Other highlights include a roundtable with journalists who cover antisemitism and a poster session featuring research by Carolina undergraduate students.


“This conference won’t solve the problem of antisemitism, but it is our belief that improved understanding and open discussion are the means to addressing the problem,” said Ruth von Bernuth, director of the Center, a part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Students will gain an understanding that goes far beyond what can be attained during classroom instruction. Community members will have the opportunity to stop and really consider what is going on in the world today. And members of the media and other professionals will gain insight into topics that can be difficult to address without any sense of history or scale.”


The full conference schedule, updated event information and online registration can be found at: The conference is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, advance registration is required for the panel sessions.


The conference is made possible due to private support. For the full list of sponsors go to: