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CfP: Antisemitism and the Workplace. Opening the black box

Deadline for proposals: May 1, 2022

News vom 25.03.2022

Antisemitism - the age-old hostility, prejudice, negative stereotypes and active discrimination against Jews as individuals and as a collective, has seen a sharp ascent in Europe over the past decade (FRA, 2021, DelaPragolla, 2019). In France, “the most dangerous European country for Jews” (Mortimer, 2020) 85% of Jewish young people report having experienced an antisemitic incident (de Neuville, 2020). In the UK, which saw last year the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever (JTA, 2022), police records for the period 2020/2021 show that “Jews are statistically more than four times more likely to be the targets of hate crimes than any other religious group” (CAA, 2022); whereas the USA has evidenced last year the highest number of anti-Jewish incidents on record (ADL, 2021) with one out of every four Jews (24%) encountering antisemitism in the last 12 months (AJC, 2021). Fueled by the social and dark media, conspiracy theories that have long had a close association with antisemitism (Boyford, 2011) link Jews to present-day political and financial instability (Kofta, M., Soral, W., & Bilewicz, 2020; Lockwood, 2021). Jews also feature prominently in current conspiracy discourse such as Covid-19 (Jews caused it and are profiting from it: Gerstenfeld, 2020) and ‘replacement theory’ (Walzer, 2021). The evidence is clear that antisemitism alongside allosemitism prevalence and intensity are on the rise worldwide, not confined
to a particular age group or social strata (Schwarz-Friesel, 2020). It is also prevalent in domains without any Jewish presence (e.g. Malaysia: Ainslie, 2019), while in other geographies bereft of Jews (e.g. China: Horn, 2021) Jews are believed to be omnipotent superbeings.

Thus, far from being an episodic and marginal issue, antisemitism is a marker to the crises we, as human collective, currently face globally. Engaging with antisemitism provides us an opportunity to reflect and comment on current world travails as well as seek solutions.

The study of antisemitism has been a central topic in the humanities: historians, theologians and culture and arts specialists have studied it for centuries; and it has attracted a fair attention among social scientists too, notably in political science, and to lesser extent of sociologists and social psychologists. The one field where antisemitism scholarship is noted in its absence is business and management studies. Bar a newly published academic paper (Altman et al., 2022) the previous most recent publications date back some 35 years (Korman, 1988a,b). So, while antisemitism is spreading and intensifying globally, we have no documented studies on its manifestation in the world of work, how it may impact careers or about its occupational prevalence. We don’t know how it affects victims and who are the perpetrators and by-standers; what are the
common institutional responses, if any; sectorial variations; and how antisemitism features in the wider discourse on diversity and inclusion. In fact, with the exception of academia itself - antisemitic abuse on campus has been documented over the past three decades (Malaney & Williams, 1994; Pollack, 2011; Farber & Poleg, 2019; Elliott, 2019) and is now at record levels (Ball, 2021)2 - we practically know next to nothing.

We wish to start addressing this lacuna. In this gathering we hope, through knowledge sharing and discourse, to gain a deep understanding of workplace antisemitism. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and empirical papers from a wide range of relevant disciplines in business & management and further afield: history, law, economics, sociology, politics, psychology, philosophy and ethics, among others.

This small-scale foundational conference will take place over a day and a half on the afternoon of Monday, July 4th and Tuesday, July 5th on WU campus premises in Vienna’s Prater district.

We anticipate Special Issue publications to follow from the conference in 2023/4.

Proposal Submission: Send an abstract (c. 300 words) by May 1st, 2022 to antisemitism.work@gmail.com

Confirmation: Acceptance or otherwise will be advised within a week of receipt of submission.

Paper submission: A full paper of any length, in time for the conference, would be preferred but is not a condition for attendance and presentation.

Costs: The conference will be free to attend (no conference fee) thanks to support from Pearn Kandola LLP. and the WU Vienna. Voluntary contributions would be welcome.

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