This summer school, organized by the Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (Ecole normale supérieure-Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, with the support of the Laboratoire Identités Cultures Territoires, Université Paris Diderot) will take place at the Centre de recherche français de Jérusalem (Cnrs). It is part of a more extensive project on the economic history of early modern Jewry, which was launched four years ago. It was started as a team project centered on Jewish business records, and aimed at promoting the advent of an ‘economic turn’ in French Jewish and economic studies. Although periodically announced, and despite severl key publications, that ‘economic turn’ has hardly happened yet, not for lack of available material – one of our aims is to provide an accurate picture of new and available European sources to write a revisited, unhibited economic history of the Jews- but rather for lack of available recruits among historians, either confirmed, or in training. Far away from post-Sombart taboos, time has come to revisit the economic history of early modern Jews by providing an interconnected, comparative approach, combining traditional mercantile records, with new or untapped sources, such as community and judicial sources. The idea is not only to make the available material known in order to arouse interest of and share knowledge with the participants, hoping to eventually encourage new research, but also to suggest a more holistic approach, by bridging the divide between economic history and social, religious, and legal history of early modern Jews, by showing how community and judicial sources may help formulate and answer new question or enlighten other aspects of economic life. This workshop will consist in sessions devoted to historiography, as well as sessions devoted to hands-on approach of a variety of sources and archival funds. Mainstream as well as new topics and issues will be discussed, such as Sephardic networks, and Ashkenazi networks between England and the continent (based on a series of unknown yiddish business records) involved in the first industrial revolution, thus addressing the question of the early involvement of Jews in the realm of production and manufactures, and not merely in the realm of commerce. Through a selection of documents taken from various sources, mercantile correspondence, account books, the participants will be invited to reflect upon and discuss Jewish commercial languages and culture. Finally, sources related to litigation, and the role of community institutions in conflict resolution will be presented as relevant new material for writing a kind of economic history of the Jews that does not elude the question of the nexus between community and economy.
The school is interactive in character, and is composed of keynote lectures and workshops. It will mostly consist of workshops during which the participants discuss a selection of sources in their original languages and translated into English- and panel sessions focused on debates on historiography and methodology. The school offers an informal atmosphere in which new ideas and research directions can be shared and debated, be it in panel sessions, or over coffee and meals. It will also offer a unique opportunity for French students and researchers to work with Israeli academics. The speakers will comprise both local and French or European academics, and will hopefully prompt new partnerships. The sessions will be held in English.
We are especially inviting applications from students who are at the stage of preparing either a master’s or a doctoral thesis, in the field of economic or / and Jewish studies, as well as colleagues in academia who express interest in the field.
The cost of travel and accomodation, for the duration of the workshop, will be covered for those students and colleagues who cannot get appropriate funding from their university. Applicants from French and other European countries are welcome, provided that travel costs remain within reason.
Please send letter of application, CV, and for students a letter of recommendation. The deadline for application is 28 February 2017, and applicants will be informed by mid March 2017.
Applications should be sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org