Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in conference
Visible or Invisible? Italian Jews at the Age of Religious Internationalism - ABSTRACT: One of the driving forces of globalization and modernity as understood since the 19th century in Europe and the West has been the emergence of transnational religious communities, and their configuration as new public spheres. The mobilization of newly emancipated Jews towards fellow coreligionists outside Europe entailed the rise of an international Jewish public opinion, and the development of the transnational circuits of the Jewish Press. Flowing with the circulation of knowledge and subjects in imperial and trans-local networks, this stream of representations contributed to the shaping of European bourgeois perceptions of “the Orient” and “the West”. However, the forms of visibility of the Jews as both “Oriental” and Western political subjects in metropolitan imperial cultures, proved particularly problematic: while fostering variegate manifestations of Orientalism, it also generated new forms of anti-Semitism.
This paper interrogates ways in which Italian Jews participated to such processes, taking Orientalism as a phenomenon which encapsulates different understanding of ideas of Europe, modernity and civilization, for different subjects involved in multiple projects and relations. My work means to explore the development of forms of Jewish Orientalism in Italy, and their impact on the shaping of “Italian” ideas of empire and citizenship. In so doing, it will address how national and transnational dimensions are interrelated and mutually constitutive, notably through networks mobilizing different dimensions of the subjectivities of historical actors.