The Zionist Political Imagination Before 1948 - Dmitry Shumsky

Beyond the Nation-State:
The Zionist Political Imagination before 1948
Dmitry Shumsky
Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In this talk, based on his recent book, Professor Shumsky offers a thorough critique of the nation-statist paradigm in Zionist historiography, showing that the concept and the imagery of the “Jewish State” characteristic of the pre-1948 Zionist movement involved a profoundly multinational understanding of statehood and autonomist understanding of nationhood. He thereby complicates the narrative of the Zionist quest for full sovereignty, demonstrating how and why the pre-state political Zionism promoted theories of self-determination in Palestine either as a part of a multinational Ottoman state or in the framework of multinational democracy. These modes of autonomy-oriented nationalism were not marginal to the story of Zionism: rather, they were produced by central representatives of political Zionism, from Leon Pinsker to Theodor Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion.
Wednesday, March 4th • 4pm
1501 University Hall • 601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL
light reception to follow