Professor Brian Horowitz

Curriculum Vitae

Brian Horowitz has been a Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg since April 2012. He is Professor of Jewish history at Tulane University since 2003. He holds the Sizeler Family Chair of Jewish Studies there. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a Fellowship at the Frankel Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan (2011-12), a Yad Hanadiv Fellowship at Hebrew University, Jerusalem (2002), and an Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship (2000-2001). His scholarly work pivots around Zionism and Eastern European Politics and Culture. His previous work was devoted to Jewish schools in the Russian Empire, Russian liberals and Jewish nationalism.

Research Project at the Kolleg

Eastern Europe as an Incubator of RussianRight-Wing Jewish Nationalism, 1914-1945
In the first half of the twentieth century in Eastern Europe Jews learned from their own situation as objects of persecution and imitated the non-Jewish right, creating a right-wing Jewish politics. However, Jewish rightists borrowed from the radical right selectively. It was not racism that inspired, but the concept of Gemeinschaft, a community grounded in traditions and culture (Hebrew, military discipline, and symbols from the religious tradition). Right-wing Jewish nationalists were attracted to expressions of strength and violence, rituals of identity (sport, paramilitary drills, parades), and an anti-democratic, pro-individual ideology regarding social life and the ultimate goals of society (not socialism, but capitalism; not equality, but the promotion of elites).
Although perhaps the vast majority of scholarship on Jews in Eastern Europe has been devoted to liberals and radicals, Jewish conservatives and rightists deserve greater scholarly attention. Jewish conservatives (Shtadlonim [Jewish intercessors]) remained prominent in the twentieth century, becoming transformed into industrialists and plutocrats. The Zionist Revisionists and their paramilitary youth groups were active in inter-war Poland and the Baltic states. Writers and historians, Micha Yosef Berdyczewski, Uri Zvi Greenberg, and Israel (Joseph) Klausner, were active spokesmen for a right-wing Jewish ideology.

Main areas of research

  • Jewish nationalism in East Central Europe in the 20th Century
  • Zionism, Palestine and Antisemitism
  • Faschism and politics

Positions/ Memberships

  • Series Editor of a Russian-Jewish Book Series in Slavica Press, 2006-present: Boris Koterman, Theater of Birobidzhan, 2009.
  • Member of the editorial board of: Center for Intercultural Russian Studies, Bar-Ilan University, 2004-present. Amsterdam International Journal of Cultural Narratology, 2004-present. Shibboleth: A Journal on Jewish Literary Theory, 2007-present. Menorah Review, 1999-present.
  • Advisory Board for student-run World Affairs Forum at Tulane University, 2003-2007