Johannes Czakai

Johannes Czakai

JC
Dr.
Johannes
Czakai
Early Modern History
Modern History
Jewish History

German-Jewish and Eastern European-Jewish history
Jewish names
Conversions from Judaism to Christianity
Jewish cemeteries and epigraphy
Genealogy
Art history
Espionage

 

Email: johannes.czakai@mail.huji.ac.il

Current Projects:

In my current project I will research how early modern Jewish conversions to Christianity were shaped by borders. Starting from the perspective of conversions as ‘border crossing’ I will focus on Silesia – a mixed denominational territory, which was situated in the very center of Europe, yet still defined by a multitude of borders (lingual, ethnic, political, confessional, social). In my project I aim to show that conversions of Jews to Christianity were but one of several border crossings and that they could be an expression of personal agency. Consequently, I want to shed new light on the coexistence of Jewish converts, Jews, and Christians in early modern Europe.

Curriculum Vitae:

Positions, Fellowships, and Grants

  • 2020-2021       Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish

                             Literature and Cultural History, Hebrew University Jerusalem

  • 2020-2022       Researcher in the project “Joel Jacoby (1811-1863): A Renegade in the Era of Emancipation and

                             Restoration”, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation

  • 2018-2019       Research Fellow, Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and

                             Cultural History, Hebrew University Jerusalem

  • 2016                Travel Grant of the International Martin Buber Foundation

  • 2015/2016       Research Fellowship, German Historical Institute Warsaw

  • 2015-2018       Research Assistant, Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg (ZJS)

  • 2015                DAAD scholarship for a congress in the US

  • 2015                PROMOS (DAAD) scholarship for an Intensive Hebrew Language Ulpan

  • 2014/2015       German-Israeli Archival Exchange Colloquium, Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden,

                             Hamburg and Tel Aviv University

Prizes

  • 2022                Research Award of the Institute for the History of Persons (Institut für Personengeschichte)

  • 2021                Tiburtius Recognition Award for outstanding PhD thesis (prize of the Berlin universities)

  • 2020                Academic Advancement Award of the Polish Ambassador in Germany (first prize for the best PhD thesis)

  • 2013                Academic Advancement Award by the Polish Ambassador in Germany (M.A. thesis)

Education:

  • 2020                PhD in History, Free University of Berlin (summa cum laude)

  • 2013                Magister Artium (M.A.) in History and Jewish Studies, Technical University Berlin and University of Potsdam

Publications:

Monographs:

  • Nochems neue Namen. Die Juden Galiziens und der Bukowina und die Einführung deutscher Vor- und Familiennamen 1772-1820, Göttingen 2021.

Papers:

  • [together with Kathrin Wittler:] Nervenkrieg. Gustav Adolf von Tzschoppe, Joel Jacoby und das preußische Geheimdienstwesen im Vormärz – Edition eines autobiographischen Berichts aus dem Jahr 1840, in: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 75 (2023) [in print].

  • Of Bug Crushers and Barbaric Clerks: The Fabricated History of Jewish Family Names in Karl Emil Franzos’ ‘Namensstudien’ (1880), in: Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 67 (2022) [in print].

  • Isaak Baruch wird zu Isaak Schatz. Zur Entstehung deutsch-jüdischer Familiennamen in Galizien, in: Jüdische Geschichte & Kultur. Magazin des Dubnow-Instituts, # 6 (2022), 46-49 [in print].

  • Die jüdische Namenswelt der Vormoderne im Spiegel christlicher Zeitgenossen (von Antonius Margaritha bis Oluf Gerhard Tychsen) [The Jewish World of Names in the Pre- Modern Era as Reflected by Christian Contemporaries (from Antonius Margaritha to Oluf Gerhard Tychsen)], in: Aschkenas: Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kultur der Juden, 32 (2022), 1, 33-68. 

  • Hamburg’s Jews Take Permanent Family Names, in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, 2017.

  • Oberschlesisches Landjudentum. Zum jüdischen Leben in Oberschlesien am Beispiel von Leschnitz im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert, in: Schlesische Geschichtsblätter. Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte Schlesiens, 3/2010, 73-90.

Reviews and reports:

Other:

Presentations: 

  • 08/2022           “Counting and Encountering the New Subjects: The First Jewish Census in Habsburg Galicia (1773)”

                              18th World Congress of Jewish Studies 2022, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

  • 04/2022           “Literarischer Geheimdienst im Vormärz: Joel Jacoby (1811–1863)”

                              12. Forum Junge Vormärz Forschung, University of Wuppertal, Germany

  • 11/2021           “Juden und jüdische Konvertiten in frühneuzeitlichen Kirchenbüchern. Probleme und Perspektiven

                             der Forschung”

                               Kirchenbücher als historische Quelle, University of Münster, Germany

  • 06/2021           “Joel Jacoby (1811–1863): Ein Seitenwechsler der Emanzipations- und Restaurationszeit”

                             Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany

  • 09/2019           “Jewish Family Names in Polish and German Memory”

                             Jewish-Polish-German realms of memory. A triple neighbourhood, Center for Historical Research

                             Berlin of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Germany

  • 06/2019           “Switzerland Between Carpathians and Prut: The History of Jewish Family Names in Bukovina”

                             14th International Conference on Jewish Names, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

  • 11/2017           “Between Legibility and Agency: The Names of Jews as an Instrument of Austrian Authority in Galicia

                             and Bukovina, 1772-1809”

                             2nd Polish-German Conference for Young Scholars, Jagiellonian University Kraków, Poland

  • 08/2017           “Jewish Reactions to the Adoption of Permanent Surnames in German Lands, 1787-1849”

                             17th World Congress of Jewish Studies/13th International Conference on Jewish Names, Hebrew

                             University, Jerusalem, Israel

  • 06/2016           “„der Nahmen Karman kann ich und meine Kinder nicht leiden‟ –  Jüdische Reaktionen auf die

                             Annahme fester Familiennamen”

                             Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany

  • 02/2016           “„Zum Andenken dieser Schandthat, erhielt er den Beynamen, Ochß.‟ Juden und ihre Namen im

                             Spiegel christlicher Publikationen des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts”

                             Bella figura judaica? Auftreten und Wahrnehmung von Juden in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit,

                             Interdisciplinary Forum Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in der Frühen Neuzeit, Stuttgart-Hohenheim,

                             Germany

  • 02/2016           “The Modern State and the Names of Jews (1787-1849)”

                             Naming the Nation: Practices of Naming in between the Conflicting Spheres of Politics, Society and

                             Science, Collegium Carolinum, LMU München, Germany

  • 09/2015           “„Man hat den Menschen des geächteten Volkes Spottnamen angehängt.‟ Die Namensannahme der

                             Juden in Galizien 1785 bis 1805”

                             German Historical Institute Warsaw, Poland

  • 03/2015           “The Galician Konskription of 1785: The First Jewish Name Regulation”

                             12th International Conference on Jewish Names, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

  • 03/2015           “Pious and Tricky: The Perception of Jewish Names and Naming in the 18th Century”

                             Names and Naming in Early Modern Germany, Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinär, Vanderbilt University,

                             Nashville, TN, USA

  • 05/2013           “Myths Concerning the Adoption of Jewish Surnames: Karl Emil Franzos, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and our

                             Limited Knowledge about Ridiculous Jewish Surnames”

                             The 5th Warsaw Conference for Young Jewish Studies Researchers, University of Warsaw, Poland