A significant part of the research effort of ISCA will be to clarify what is new and what has been inherited from the antisemitic lexicons of the past. The repertoire of emotionally-charged accusations against Judaism and the Jews is made up of a familiar series of destructive myths that have been perpetuated over the ages. Given their longevity and tenacity, it is unlikely that these myths can be eradicated, but by analyzing and exposing them as myths, it may be possible to help people recognize this pathology for what it is and thereby mitigate some of its harmful effects.
The Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at Indiana University was established in 2009, under the auspices of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program. The Institute plans to sponsor regular lectures, colloquia, symposia, and national and international conferences involving scholars from other universities, as well as research by faculty members and current graduate students.
About Professor Alvin Rosenfeld
Alvin Rosenfeld, the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies at IU Bloomington and Professor of Jewish Studies and English in the College of Arts and Sciences, founded and directs the institute. Initial funding for institute scholarly activities comes from the endowment that supports the Irving M. Glazer Chair.
Rosenfeld received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1967 and has taught at Indiana University since 1968. He founded Indiana University's well-regarded Borns Jewish Studies Program and served as its director for 30 years.
The editor of William Blake: Essays (1969) and the Collected Poetry of John Wheelwright (1972), he is also the author of numerous scholarly and critical articles on American poetry, Jewish writers, and the literature of the Holocaust. Indiana University Press published his Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel (co-edited with Irving Greenberg) in 1979 and, in 1980, published his A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature (the book has since appeared in German and Polish translations. With his wife, Erna Rosenfeld, he translated Gunther Schwarberg's The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm, a book on Nazi medical atrocities published by the Indiana University Press in 1984. His Imagining Hitler was published by Indiana University Press in 1985 (available also in a Japanese translation) and Thinking About the Holocaust: After Half a Century in 1997. His The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature appeared with Indiana University Press in 2009. His most recent study, The End of the Holocaust, is due to be published in April, 2011. In recent years, he has also been writing about contemporary antisemitism, and some of his articles on this subject have evoked intense debate. He is also editor of a series of books on Jewish Literature and Culture published by Indiana University Press.
Professor Rosenfeld has served as an editorial board member of various scholarly journals, including Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as well as a board member and scholarly consultant to various Jewish institutions and organizations. He held a 5-year Presidential appointment on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (2002-2007) and presently serves on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Executive Committee. He is Chair of the Academic Committee of the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.
Professor Rosenfeld is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the recipient of fellowship grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Foundation of Jewish Culture, and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Professor Rosenfeld was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in May, 2007.