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Robert Weinberg: “Blood Libel in Late Imperial Russia: Popular Antisemitism, the Occult and the Trial of Mendel Beilis”
June 5, 2012 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Professor Weinberg will explore the nature of popular antisemitism in the Russian Empire during the trial of Mendel Beilis, a Kievan Jew accused of ritual murder in 1913. Concerned citizens sent letters to the prosecution during the trial in order to buttress the government’s case against Beilis. The letters permit us to delve into the popular beliefs and practices of the literate public and provide insight into the social, intellectual, and cultural tensions caused by late Imperial Russia’s encounter with modernity.
Bio: Professor Weinberg has been teaching at Swarthmore College for nearly 25 years. His research has focused on various aspects of the Jewish experience in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. His first book examined Jewish-gentile relations in the context of the 1905 revolution in Odessa (Blood on the Steps: The Revolutoin of 1905 in Odessa) and his second book explored the establishment of the Jewish Autonomous Region, aka Birobidzhan, in the Soviet Far East (Stalin’s Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland). He is currently putting the finishing touches on a document reader about the Beilis Affair.