Antisemitism has been called the longest hatred. Although the term Antisemitismus was coined in Germany in the 1870s, its roots stretch back to before the Christian era. It has been found throughout the world—even in societies with few or no Jews—and has led to some of the most horrifying events in human history, including the Nazi genocide. Moreover, antisemitism is far from dormant today. Instances of rhetorical and physical violence against Jews are again on the rise, especially in Europe and some parts of the Middle East, making the need to study its causes and manifestations, and to map its permutations, all the more pressing.
The Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism (YPSA) seeks to bring the resources of Yale and its faculty to bear on this pernicious problem. Housed at the Whitney Humanities Center, the program invites scholars from across the university—including sociology, political science, law, history, literature, art history, philosophy, religious studies, and psychology—to analyze antisemitism in an atmosphere of interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly inquiry. YPSA focuses on both past and present forms of antisemitism. It promotes the study of the perception of Jews, both positive and negative, in various societies and historical moments, and also encourages comparisons with other forms of discrimination and racism. The specific topics addressed by YPSA seminars and conferences are guided by the interests of its faculty and student participants.
YPSA regularly sponsors talks and lectures by leading scholars, both from Yale and other institutions, including the Benjamin (Yale 1962) and Barbara Zucker Lecture Series. It also hosts an annual conference focused on a specific theme. These events are open to the public. It makes research grants available to Yale faculty and students, and sponsors other forms of scholarly collaboration, including a faculty reading group. It also seeks to foster the study of antisemitism across the curriculum and will regularly host visiting faculty. Our goal is to stimulate new research of the highest caliber.