Research Groups:Galicia: Literary and Historical Approaches to the Construction of a Jewish Place

[RG # 142]  Galicia: Literary and Historical Approaches to the Construction of a Jewish Place

March 1, 2014 - July 31, 2015

Organizers:

Ariel Hirschfeld (The Hebrew University)
Alan Mintz (Jewish Theological Seminary)

Galicia, the subject of our Research Group, was an invented land, an artificial entity that acquired meaning over the course of its historical experience. Rather than being a land with a longstanding identity of its own, Galicia was created as a province of the Habsburg Monarchy as a product of the negotiations with Russia and Poland that led to the partition of Poland in 1772, and it ceased to exist as a political entity in 1918 with the defeat and dissolution of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary and its incorporation into the new Poland.

The creation of Galicia and the incorporation of the Jewish communities of the Polish kresy (borderlands) into the new Austrian province meant enormous changes. Social and educational reforms issued from Vienna transformed aspects of Jewish life. Our research group aims not only to study the phenomenon of Galicia, but also to bring the disciplines of history and literature into dialogue.