Hillel J. Kieval
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1062
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
I teach broadly in European Jewish history from medieval to modern times; direct graduate students in both Jewish and Central European history; and also offer courses in history and memory, ethnicity and nationalism, the Holocaust, and Jewish identities in the "age of nationalism."
My research focuses on transformations in Jewish culture and society in East Central Europe (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Poland) from the Enlightenment to the Second World War, including the effects of modernization projects, ethnic and national struggles, social conflict, and antisemitism on Jewish life and Jewish-Gentile relations. I am particularly interested in changing linguistic, cultural, and communal affiliations among Jews; in cross-cultural conflicts and misunderstandings; the function and phenomenology of the "ritual murder" trial in modern Europe; and, most recently, in the relationship between sacred text and ascribed identity in urban Central Europe at the turn of the twentieth century.
My scholarly publications have dealt with such topics as national conflict and the formation of modern Jewish culture in the Bohemian lands; language, community, and Jewish experience in the Bohemian lands; trials against Jews for "ritual murder" in modern Europe; Jewish cultural mediation in multi-ethnic societies; the creation of the Golem legend in Prague; and Jewish resistance in Vichy France.
Jewish History (medieval, early modern, modern):
History, Text, and Identity: An Introduction to Jewish Civilization
Crusade, Disputation, and Coexistence: Jews in Christian Europe
Becoming “Modern”: Emancipation, Antisemitism, and Nationalism in Modern Jewish History
Out of the Shtetl: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries
The Holocaust: History and Memory
A People Apart? Jewish Identity in an Age of Nationalism (freshman seminar)
The “Jewish Question”: Emancipation, Antisemitism, and Jewish-Christian Confrontation in Europe (advanced seminar)
European and Comparative/Cultural History:
Blood and Sacred Bodies: Ritual Murder and Host Desecration Accusations from Medieval to Modern Europe (senior seminar)
Diaspora in Jewish and Islamic Experience (senior seminar)History and Memory in the European Past (graduate seminar)
“Habsburg” Central Europe (graduate seminar)Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism (graduate seminar)
Formování českého židovstva: Národnostní konflikt a židovská společnost v Čechách 1870-1918. Prague: Paseka, 2012. [Czech translation of The Making of Czech Jewry, with a new foreword by the author.]
Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.
The Making of Czech Jewry: National Conflict and Jewish Society in Bohemia, 1870-1918. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Manuscripts in Progress
Science and Blood: The Strange Career of the “Ritual Murder” Trial in Modern Europe. (To be completed in 2014).
Articles and Book Chapters
“Afterword: European Antisemitism—the Search for a Pattern,” in: Sites of European Antisemitism in the Age of Mass Politics, 1880-1918, edited by Robert Nemes and Daniel Unowsky. Tauber Institute Series for the Study of European Jewry. Lebanon, NH: UPNE/Brandeis University Press, 2014, pp. 255-263.
“Polná’s Shadow: The Hilsner Affair and the Problem of Jewish Integration in the Bohemian Lands,” in: Jewish Studies in the 21st Century: Prague—Europe—World, edited by Marcela Zoufalá. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014, pp. 131-141.
“Jews as a Religious Minority in America: The Challenges and Risks of Integration,” Brethren Life and Thought 58:2 (Fall 2013): 1-8.
“The Rules of the Game: Forensic Medicine and the Language of Science in the Structuring of Modern Ritual Murder Trials,” Jewish History 26 (2012): 287-307. DOI: 10.1007/s10835-012-9165-3.
“Imperial Embraces and Ethnic Challenges: The Politics of Jewish Identity in the Bohemian Lands,” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 30, no. 4 (Summer 2012): 1-17.
“The Unforeseen Consequences of Cultural Resistance: Haskalah and State-Mandated Reform in the Bohemian Lands,” Jewish Culture and History 13, nos. 2-3 (2012): 108-123. Special issue: Jewish Enlightenment in the Czech Lands. DOI:10.1080/1462169X.2012.729970.
“Jewish Prague, Christian Prague, and the Castle in the City’s ‘Golden Age’,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 18 (2011): 202-215. --Hebrew version, in press: “Prag ha-yehudit, prag ha-notsrit, veha-tirah ba-‘tor ha-zahav’ shel ha-‘ir,” [Jewish Prague, Christian Prague, and the Castle in the City’s “Golden Age”] in Elchanan Reiner, ed., Maharal: ‘Arb‘a me’ot sanah le-moto [Maharal: Four Hundred Years since His Death]. Jerusalem: Merkaz Zalman Shazar, forthcoming.
“Foreword” to: Dialog myšlenkových proudů středověkého judaismu: Mezi izolací a integrací [Dialogue of the Intellectual Streams of Medieval Judaism: Between Isolation and Integration], edited by Jiřina Šedinová, et al. Prague: Academia, 2011.
“Negotiating Czechoslovakia: The Challenges of Jewish Citizenship in a Multiethnic Nation-State,” in: Insiders and Outsiders: Dilemmas of East European Jewry, edited by Richard I. Cohen, Jonathan Frankel and Stefani Hoffman. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2010, pp. 103-119.
The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe edited by Gershon D. Hundert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). Essays on:
“Blood Libels and Host Desecration Accusations”
“Bohemia and Moravia
“Historiography in the Bohemian Lands”
“Tiszaeszlár Blood Libel”
“Pursuing the Golem of Prague: Jewish Culture and the Invention of a Tradition” [revised], in: New Harvest: Jewish Writing in St. Louis 1998-2005, edited by Howard E. Schwartz. St. Louis: Brodsky Library Press, 2006.
“Choosing to Bridge: Revisiting the Phenomenon of Jewish Cultural Mediation,” Bohemia: A Journal of History and Civilization in East Central Europe 46/1 (2005): 15-27.
“Neighbors, Strangers, Readers: The Village and the City in Jewish-Gentile Conflict at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” Jewish Studies Quarterly, 12 (2005): 61-79.
“Ritual Murder (Modern),” in: Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, edited by Richard S. Levy. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2005, II: 605-608.
“The Lands Between: The Jews of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia to 1918,” Slovo (A Publication of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library) 5, no. 2 (Winter 2004/05): 9-13.
An adaptation and abridgment of the 1990 essay listed below.
“Introduction: Jewish Experiences of America,” Contemporary Jewry, 24 (2004).
(Special issue devoted to the 350th anniversary of Jewish life in the United States.)
"Imagining 'Masculinity' in the Jewish Fin de Siècle," in: Jews and Gender: The Challenge to Hierarchy, edited by Jonathan Frankel. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 16. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 142-155.
“Antisemitism and the City: A Beginner’s Guide,” in: People of the City: Jews and the Urban Challenge, edited by Ezra Mendelsohn. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 15. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 3-18.
"Texts and Contest: Myth, Community, and Conflict in Nineteenth Century Bohemia," in: History and Memory: Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, edited by Elisheva Carlebach, John Efron, and David Myers. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1998, pp. 348-68.
"Un Salon à Prague," Les Cahiers du Judaisme 1, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 4-13.
"The Importance of Place: Comparative Aspects of the Ritual Murder Trial in Modern Central Europe," in: Comparing Jewish Societies, edited by Todd M. Endelman. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997, pp. 135-165.
"Middleman Minorities and Blood: Is there a Natural Economy of the Ritual Murder Accusation in Europe?" in: Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe, edited by Daniel Chirot and Anthony Reid. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997, pp. 208-233.
"Pursuing the Golem of Prague: Jewish Culture and the Invention of a Tradition," Modern Judaism 17 (1997): 1-23.
"Death and the Nation: Jewish Ritual Murder as Political Discourse in the Czech Lands," Jewish History 10, no. 1
--An earlier version appeared in Maurice Godé, Jacques Le Rider, and Françoise Mayer, eds., Allemands, Juifs et
Tchèques à Prague de 1890 à 1924. Actes du Colloque de Montpellier, Décembre 1994. Montpellier: Études Germaniques et Centre-Européennes, 1996, pp. 83-99.
"Antisémitisme ou Savoir Social? Sur la genèse du procès moderne pour meurtre rituel," Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales 49 (1994): 1091-1105.
"Representation and Knowledge in Medieval and Modern Accounts of Jewish Ritual Murder," Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society, New Series, 1 (1994-95): 52-72.
"La Vie de la Communauté juive en Pologne au XVIIIe Siècle (note critique)," Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales 49 (1994): 671-680.
"Jews, Czechs, and Germans in Bohemia Before 1914," in: Austrians and Jews in the Twentieth Century: From Franz Joseph to Waldheim, edited by Robert S. Wistrich. New York: St. Martin's Press; London: Macmillan Press, 1992, pp. 19-37.
"The Social Vision of Bohemian Jews: Intellectuals and Community in the 1840s," in: Assimilation and Community: The Jews in Nineteenth-Century Europe, edited by Jonathan Frankel and Steven Zipperstein. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 246-283.
Awarded the Stanley Z. Pech Prize, for best article in Czech or Slovak history, by the Czechoslovak Studies Association, 1994.
"The Lands Between: The Jews of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia to 1918," in: Where Cultures Meet: The Story of the Jews of Czechoslovakia, edited by Natalia Berger. Tel Aviv: Beth Hatefutsoth/Ministry of Defence, 1990, pp. 23-51.
--Hebrew edition: "Artsot ha-beinayim: yehudei bohemia, moravia, ve-slovakia `ad 1918," in: Mifgash tarbuyot: Sipuram shel yehudei tshekhoslovakia, edited by Natalia Berger. Tel Aviv: Beth Hatefutsoth and Ministry of Defence Publishing House, 1991, pp. 25-51.
--Czech edition: "Země mezi: čeští, moravští a slovenští Židé," in: Na křizovatce kultur: Historie československých Židů edited by Natalia Bergerová. Prague: Mladá Fronta, 1992, pp. 23-52.
--German edition: "Die Länder dazwischen: Die Juden in Böhmen, Mähren und der Slowakei bis 1918," in: Wo sich Kulturen begegnen: Die Geschichte der tschechoslowakischen Juden, edited by Natalia Berger. Prague: Mladá Fronta, 1992, pp. 23-52.
--Also translated and reprinted in: Das Jüdsiche Museum in Prag: Von schönen Gegenständen und ihren Besitzern, edited by Edna Brocke and Michael Zimmermann. Bonn: J.H.W. Dietz, 1991, pp. 38-59.
"Masaryk and Czech Jewry: The Ambiguities of Friendship," in: T. G. Masaryk (1850-1937): Thinker and Politician, edited by Stanley B. Winters. London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's, 1990, pp. 302-327.
"Caution's Progress: The Modernization of Jewish Life in Prague, 1780-1830," in: Toward Modernity: The European Jewish Model, edited by Jacob Katz. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1987, pp. 71-105.
"Education and National Conflict in Bohemia: Germans, Czechs, and Jews," in: Jews and Other Ethnic Groups in a Multi-Ethnic World, edited by Ezra Mendelsohn. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 3. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 49-71.
"Nationalism and Antisemitism: The Czech-Jewish Response," in: Living With Antisemitism: Modern Jewish Responses, edited by Jehuda Reinharz. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1987, pp. 210-233.
"In the Image of Hus: Refashioning Czech Judaism in Post-Emancipatory Prague," Modern Judaism 5 (1985): 141-157.
"Autonomy and Interdependence: The Historical Legacy of Czech Jewry," in: The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak State Collections, edited by David Altshuler. New York: Summit Books, 1983, pp. 46-109.
"Legality and Resistance in Vichy France: The Rescue of Jewish Children," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 124 (1980): 339-366.
Other Work in Progress
The Social Life of a Sacred Text: The Talmud and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe.
--Book project that focuses on three, related, cultural behaviors of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries: Gentile discussions of Jewish sociability and morality from the perspective of the rabbinic textual tradition; Jewish responses to this questioning of rabbinic culture (in the form of apologetics, court challenges, and self-distancing); and social practices of reading, study, and transmission.
Awards, Fellowships and Prizes
Research Fellowship, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jan-Jun 2010 (declined)
International Activities Fund Grant, Washington University in St. Louis, October 2007
Primo Levi Fellow, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2002
Skirball Visiting Fellowship, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 1997 (declined)
Stanley Z. Pech Award, for the best article in Czech or Slovak history, by the Czechoslovak Studies Association, 1994
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Joint Committee on Eastern Europe, ACLS / SSRC, 1992-1993
Summer Research Grant, Keller Fund, Dept. of History, University of Washington, 1992
IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board) Fellowship to Czechoslovakia, 1990
American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, 1988-1989
Research Grant, Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (declined), 1988-1989
Graduate School Research Fellowship, University of Washington, 1985
Kenneth B. Smilen/"Present Tense" Literary Award for the category of general non-fiction (awarded to The Precious Legacy), 1983
IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board) Fellowship to Czechoslovakia, 1979
Junior Fellowship, Society of Fellows, Harvard University, 1977-1980
Augustus Clifford Tower Fellowship, Harvard University (for study at a French University), 1973-1974
Phi Beta Kappa, 1973
Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Summer Research Grant, 1972