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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2021

Jews Out of Place? Place and Space in Czech Antisemitic Caricatures

Michal Frankl


Using examples of antisemitic caricatures published in the Czech press at the end of the nineteenth century, this article explores the function of place and space in this form of visualization of Jews. Existing research paid more attention to the deformed, racist rendering of Jewish physiognomy and to visual codes which made Jews recognizable and which expressed their alleged negative qualities. Experimenting at the crossroads of studies in visual antisemitism and spatial studies, this article is an attempt to make a critical examination of the construction of space through negative images of Jews. It focuses on two sets of caricatures, one placing Jews in the public space in Prague and in interaction and sometimes dialogue with non-Jews, and pictures reflecting on nationalist exhibitions in Prague in the 1890s. The article argues that these images depicted Jews as both included in the space and excluded through the logic of the (middle class, nationalized) space and that this visual representation co-produced the expectations related to places in ways which could potentially be translated into real exclusionary practices.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston