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Elissa Bemporad – The Blood Libel in Modern Eastern Europe: A Social History
The Blood Libel in Modern Eastern Europe: A Social History
Michael and Irene Ross Lecture in Yiddish Studies
Elissa Bemporad (CUNY)
Through new archival research and a close reading of the Yiddish press, this talk will explore the metamorphosis of the centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder children for ritual purposes in modern Eastern Europe. Ritual murder accusations in modern society (which involved the intervention of local and central authorities, police investigations and trials) can be used as a canvas to explore neighborhood sociology, memory and habits of violence, and reasons for the endurance and permutation of the accusation. Elissa Bemporad, is the author of Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk (Indiana University Press, 2013), winner of the National Jewish Book Award and of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, and finalist of the Jordan Schnitzer Prize in Modern Jewish. Her new book, entitled Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms, and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets, was published with Oxford University Press in fall 2019 and won a National Jewish Book Award. Elissa is also the co-editor of two volumes: Women and Genocide: Survivors, Victims, Perpetrators (Indiana University Press, 2018, with Joyce Warren); and Pogroms: A Documentary History of Anti-Jewish Violence (forthcoming with Oxford University Press, with Gene Avrutin). She has recently been a recipient of an NEH Fellowship and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Museum.
Moderator: Boris Dralyuk (LA Review of Books)
Host: David N. Myers (UCLA)