Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Nationalism, “Philosemitism,” and Symbolic Boundary-Making in Contemporary Poland

  • Geneviève Zubrzycki (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article analyzes the growing interest in Jews and all things Jewish in contemporary Poland—from the spectacular popularity of festivals of Jewish culture to the opening of Judaica bookstores and Jewish cuisine restaurants; from the development of Jewish studies programs at various universities and the creation of several museums to artists’ and public intellectuals’ engagements with Poland's Jewish past and Polish-Jewish relations more broadly. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, over sixty formal interviews with Jewish and non-Jewish activists, and informal conversations with participants in various Jewish-centered initiatives, I argue that this cultural phenomenon is related to the attempt by specific political and social groups to build a pluralistic society in an ethnically and denominationally homogenous nation-state. I build on the literature on nationalism and symbolic boundaries by showing that bringing back Jewish culture and “resurrecting the Jew” is a way to soften, stretch, and reshape the symbolic boundaries of the nation that the Right wants to harden and shrink using Catholicism as its main tool.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Nationalism, “Philosemitism,” and Symbolic Boundary-Making in Contemporary Poland
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Nationalism, “Philosemitism,” and Symbolic Boundary-Making in Contemporary Poland
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Nationalism, “Philosemitism,” and Symbolic Boundary-Making in Contemporary Poland
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
genez@umich.edu
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Thomas Alteflix . 2000. The ‘Post-Holocaust Jew’ and the Instrumentalization of Philosemitism. Patterns of Prejudice 34, 2: 4156.

Jon E. Fox and Cynthia Miller-Idriss . 2008. Everyday Nationhood. Ethnicities 8, 4: 536–63.

Jonathan Karp and Adam Sutcliff , eds. 2011. Philosemitism in History. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Jack Kugelmass and Anna-Maria Orla-Bukowska . 1998. If You Build It They Will Come: Recreating a Jewish District in Post-Communist Kraków. City and Society Annual Review, 315–53.

Michèle Lamont and Virag Molnar . 2002. The Study of Boundaries in the Social Sciences. Annual Review of Sociology 28: 167–95.

Erica Lehrer and Magdalena Waligórska . 2013. Cur(at)ing History: New Genre Art Interventions and the Polish-Jewish Past. East European Politics and Societies and Cultures 27, 3: 510–44.

Jerzy Tomaszewski . 1993. The National Question in Poland in the Twentieth Century. In M. Teich and R. Porter , eds., The National Question in Europe in Historical Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 293316.

Magdalena Waligórska . 2013. Klezmer's Afterlife: An Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany. New York: Oxford University Press.

Marcin Wodziński . 2011. Jewish Studies in Poland. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 10, 1: 101–18.

Bernard Yack . 1996. The Myth of the Civic Nation. Critical Review 10, 2: 193211.

Geneviève Zubrzycki . 2001. “We, the Polish Nation”: Ethnic and Civic Visions of Nationhood in Post-Communist Constitutional Debates. Theory and Society 30, 5: 629–69.

Geneviève Zubrzycki . 2006. The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Geneviève Zubrzycki . 2013. Narrative Shock and (Re)Making Polish Memory in the Twenty-First Century. In Florence Vatan and Marc Silberman , eds., Memory and Postwar Memorials: Confronting the Violence of the Past. New York: Palgrave, 95115.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 40
Total number of PDF views: 170 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 292 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.