By reconstructing the urban social field of sport during the interwar period as a site of identity politics, the conference addresses the history and importance of Jewish sports in different major European cities.
Beginning with the establishment of sports as part of mass culture after the Great War, the main focus lies in the public assessment and self-positioning of Jews committed to sports. This includes Jewish athletes as well as the large number of those who held positions in sports and gymnastic clubs as officials. It will be asked, how “Jewishness” as a category was constructed in the different urban settings. What role did the athletes’ and officials’ involvement in sports play with regard to the negotiation of “Jewish Difference” and the universalistic projects of emancipation connected to it, in the context of religion, Zionism, politics and “assimilation”? How was a “non-Jewish society” positioned on the basis of what ascriptions to the “Jewish” as the other, and in which interactions could these respective changing constructions be found?
Conference: “Jewish Sports in/and the Metropolis“
Vienna , 14.-15.03.2016
Organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna / University of Vienna