Ivan Kalmar

Photo of Ivan KalmarIvan Kalmar, Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1976)
Professor, Graduate Coordinator, St. George Campus
(416) 585-4419 (VC Office)
Office: Northrop Frye Hall 228, Victoria College (Main),
AP 334 (Secondary)

Website: http://projects.chass.utoronto.ca/kalmar/

Research Keywords: Jews and Muslims, orientalism, cultural studies, semiotic and linguistic anthropology

Research Region: Central and Western Europe

Research Bio

Ivan Kalmar’s research and teaching concentrates on cultural history, anthropological linguistics, and semiotics. He has addressed a wide range of topics ranging from Inuit language and culture to the mythology of the computer. Recently his publications have focused on the image of Muslims and Jews in western Christian cultural history. Within this context, he has written and lectured widely on orientalist notions about the Jews, and on the common roots of antisemitism and Islamophobia. Currently, Kalmar is investigating how in the nineteenth century the western concept of the “language family” mixed with religious notions to establish the pseudoscientific notion of “races” such as the Aryan and the Semitic. It also enabled the formation of pan-nationalist movements such as pan-Germanism, pan-Slavism, and pan-Turkism. This development, Kalmar’s research indicates, contributed significantly to the formation of modern nationalisms. Eventually, it led to the establishment of new nation-states in Europe: a process that may still not be quite finished today.

Selected Publications

2012   Ivan Davidson Kalmar.  Early Orientalism: Imagined Islam and the Notion of Sublime Power. London and New York: Routledge.

2005   Ivan Davidson Kalmar and Derek J. Penslar, eds.  Orientalism and the Jews.  Hannover, NH: University Press of New England.

2003   Ivan Davidson Kalmar. Word, Culture, Image: Notes on Linguistic and Semiotic Anthropology, 2nd. ed., Toronto: Quirk Press.

1994   Ivan Kalmar. The Trotskys, Freuds, and Woody Allens: Portrait of a Culture, Toronto: Penguin.

Book Chapters
Forthcoming    Ivan Kalmar and Tariq Ramadan, “Antisemitism and Islamophobia,” Routledge Handbook of Muslim-Jewish Relations, ed. by Yousef Meri. New York and London: Routledge.

Forthcoming    Ivan Davidson Kalmar.  “The Rise and Fall of the Semite: Jews, Arabs, and Muslims in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century,” in Mitchell Hart and Tony Michels, eds., The Cambridge History of Judaism (Cambridge, Engl.: Cambridge University Press). Volume 8: The Modern Period (c. 1815-2000).

2013  Ivan Kalmar, “The Israelite Temple of Florence: The Struggle for a Jewish Space and Style in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe” in Oskar Verkaaik, ed. Religious Architecture: The Anthropological Perspective. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

2013   Ivan Kalmar, “Race By Grace: Race and Religion, the Secular State, and the Construction of ‘Jew’ and ‘Arab,” in Efraim Sicher, Jews Color Race: Rethinking Jewish Identities. London: Berghahn Press, 482-509.

2012   Ivan Kalmar, “Arabizing the Bible: Racial Supersessionism in Nineteenth Century Christian Art and Biblical Criticism” in Ian Netton, ed. Orientalism Revisited. London and New York: Routledge, 176-186.

2011   Ivan Kalmar, “The Turks of Prague: The Mundane and the Sublime” in Burkhard Schnepel and Hanne Schönig, eds., Orient-Orientalistik-Orientalismus: Geschichte und Aktualität einer Debatte, Bielefeld (Germany): transcript Verlag, 265-278.

2005   Ivan Kalmar.  “Orientalism and the Jews: An Introduction” in Ivan Davidson Kalmar and Derek J. Penslar, eds., Orientalism and the Jews (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England), xiii-xl.

2005  Ivan Kalmar.  “Jesus Did Not Wear a Turban: Orientalism, the Jews, and Christian Art,” in Ivan Davidson Kalmar and Derek J. Penslar, eds., Orientalism and the Jews (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England), 3-31.

2005  Ivan Kalmar.  “The Future of `Tribal Man’ in the Electronic Age,” in Gary Genosko, ed., Marshall McLuhan: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory. (New York: Routledge.)

2005   Ivan Kalmar.  “I Did Not Know You Were Jewish … and Other Things Not to Say When You Find Out,” in Pam Downe and Lesley Biggs eds., Women’s & Gender Studies Reader. Black Point, NS: Fernwood.


2015   Ivan Kalmar. Early Orientalism and the Jews Baroque Ethnography and Johann Jacob Schudts Jewish Memorabilia. Frankfurt Jewish Studies Bulletin Vol. 40, pp. 63-76.

Graduate Students

Photo of Omri Grinberg
Omri Grinberg