"Inventing the Jew" by Andrei Oisteanu

Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, The Gallery, 200 East 38th Street, New York, NY

On the day of Commemoration of the Victims of Holocaust in Romania, RCINY organizes the launch and a roundtable around Andrei Oisteanu’s celebrated book “Inventing the Jew. Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures”, recently published in English at the University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, 2009). Oisteanu is a researcher at the Institute for the History of Religions in Bucharest, and associate professor at the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Bucharest. The author will be in dialogue with Randolph Braham, Director of the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, Vladimir Tismaneanu, policy scientist and professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and professor Moshe Idel, Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“Inventing the Jew” follows the evolution of stereotypes of Jews from the level of traditional Romanian and other Central-East European cultures (legends, fairy tales, ballads, carols, anecdotes, superstitions, and iconographic representations) to that of “high” cultures (literature, essays, press writings, and socio-political literature), showing how motifs specific to “folkloric antisemitism” migrated to “intellectual antisemitism.” This comparative perspective also highlights how the images of Jews have differed from that of other “strangers” such as Hungarians, Germans, Roma, Turks, Armenians, and Greeks.

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