The Simon Wiesenthal Center and
The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Centro Primo Levi are pleased to welcome Prof. Manuela Consonni, newly appointed director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Since its founding in 1982, the SICSA has provided one of the most comprehensive academic platforms for the study of the antisemitic prejudice. Under the directorship of Yehuda Bauer, Dalia Ofer and Robert Wistrich, the center has offered conferences, fellowships and published a vast range of books and reports on current trends of prejudice in the media, the academia and international politics.
The new director, Manuela Consonni, brings to the center her background in European History, Italian and Italian Jewish History, Holocaust Studies, and Memory Studies.
By looking at the manifestations of antisemitism in a thorough historical perspective, Prof. Consonni seeks to establish a forum to entertain an ongoing and open debate on the different religious, cultural, political and ideological enabling conditions of antisemitism.
Moreover, and without arbitrary juxtapositions, under her directorship the center will expand the tools for a broader appraisal of the social and cultural models of exclusion and inclusion in which the antisemitic prejudice takes form.
The history of the Jewish diaspora spans along centuries and provides a privileged observatory of the relation between ruling powers (whether national or pre-national) and minority. This makes the study of antisemitism relevant for the understanding of other forms of racism, segregation and ultimately, of the individual and collective practices that contribute to the development of violent and genocidal responses of an entire society.
With an eye on the past and one on the current shifting of world’s powers and demographics, Prof. Consonni seeks to foster interest in geographical areas that have been relatively neglected in scholarly inquiry, including the Americas in comparative perspective, Asia, Africa, and the Islamic world.
We are pleased to present Prof. Consonni’s talk about the center’s future, the main debates on antisemitism today and the importance of research in the field.
Manuela Consonni is an Associate Professor at the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry and at the School of History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the Chair of the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, the Director of the Italian Studies Program, and she was recently appointed as the Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Her latest books are Resistenza o Shoah, the Memory of the Deportation and Extermination in Italy between 1945-1985 (Magnes University Press 2010) and L’eclisse dell’antifascismo. Resistenza, questione ebraica e cultura politica in Italia 1943-1989 (Laterza Publisher 2015). She has published on Italian Jewish History, Shoah literature and Holocaust studies, on Antisemitism, on memory and national identity buildung in Western Europe, and on gender issues.
Among her articles: “Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and the Body of the Muselman,” Partial Answers 7/2 (June 2009): 243-259; “The new grammar of the Otherness: Europe, the Shoah and the Jews”, Jewish History, 24, 2, 2010. She has recently received a grant from the Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem for the research group on `Bracketing Difference. The Internal Stranger. A Reassment“.