Catherine D. Chatterley

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Catherine D. Chatterley (born in Winnipeg, MB, Canada) is a historian, specializing in the study of modern European history, the Holocaust, and research on antisemitism,[1] and is the founding director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA). Chatterley is Editor-in-Chief of Antisemitism Studies, a journal devoted to the study of antisemitism published by Indiana University Press. Chatterley appeared in the documentary called "Unmasked: Judeophobia" (2011), where she was one of the scholars interviewed.[2][3] That same year, she was invited as an expert scholar to participate in the Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, which produced the Ottawa Protocol.

Chatterley also teaches history at the University of Manitoba. Her undergraduate studies included European history and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at the University of Manitoba, European Intellectual History at Concordia University (Montreal), followed by a doctorate in Modern European and Jewish History, and German-Jewish Literature, which she completed at The University of Chicago.[4]

Syracuse University Press published her first book, Disenchantment: George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization After Auschwitz, in their series on Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust, edited by Steven T. Katz. Disenchantment was named a 2011 National Jewish Book Award Finalist in the category of Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. Alongside Juan Asensio in France and Ricardo Gil Soeiro in Portugal, Chatterley is recognized as a leading scholar of George Steiner, an internationally renowned cultural critic, and has published two chapters in international collections about his work, both edited by Ricardo Gil Soeiro.

As the founding director of CISA, Catherine Chatterley was invited to be a member of the official government delegation to Israel in January 2014.[5]

Founding of CISA[edit]

Chatterley created the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA) in the summer of 2010 to "help facilitate the scholarly study of antisemitism and to educate Canadians about the phenomenon in its classical and contemporary forms."[6] CISA is the first national academic institution in Canada dedicated to the scholarly study of a subject that is usually addressed by political advocacy organizations. It is the only such institution in the world founded by a non-Jewish scholar.[7][8][9] The Institute sponsors the leading academic periodical on the subject. Antisemitism Studies is published by Indiana University Press and Chatterley is Editor-in-Chief.

Involvement in public debates[edit]

Chatterley was involved in the public debate over the place of a permanent Holocaust gallery proposed for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), scheduled to open in Winnipeg in September 2014.[10] In an editorial criticizing the attempt to remove the proposed Holocaust gallery from the museum, she stated, "the problem with the CMHR is it is mired in the politics of Canadian ethnic identity rather than rooted in the scholarly study of genocide, Holocaust, and human rights. Subjective feelings are influencing content and design choices rather than objective historical and legal reality and this does not bode well for the international reputation of this institution." This article also described the offensive UCCLA postcard campaign using Orwellian imagery to target supporters of the Holocaust gallery, depicting them as pigs. Chatterley stated unequivocally, "the fact that this kind of postcard was distributed in Canada in 2011, without shame or conscience, by an organization that claims to protect civil liberties, is astonishing. This alone demonstrates the clear need for this museum, its permanent Holocaust gallery, and for the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism."[10][11][12] In 2013, Chatterley interviewed the former curator of the Holocaust gallery and provided the first concrete published information about the content of the CMHR for the public.[13] Holocaust and Genocide Studies published her study of the conflicts and controversies at the CMHR, entitled "Canada's Struggle with Holocaust Memorialization: The War Museum Controversy, Ethnic Identity Politics, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights."

Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) has been another current cultural controversy she has addressed in the media. In Canada's National Post, she said that IAW is a Canadian invention, established at the University of Toronto in 2005, and "while the event is new, the ideology at the heart of IAW is not. The accusation that Zionism is racist and imperialist by nature is as old as Israel. The Soviet Union was a leading proponent of this conception of Zionism; and it drew on the long history of leftist antisemitism, identifying Jewish nationalism and capitalist imperialism with Judaism and the Jewish bourgeoisie."[14] After Chatterley expressed her concerns about IAW in the national daily, the president of the University of Winnipeg addressed the issue and said both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and of wider Middle East issues should be presented and debated. Chatterley expressed her hope that an "intelligent and responsible scholarly approach" would be followed by all university administrations in Canada and worldwide.[15] Lloyd Axworthy, the president of the University of Winnipeg, invited Catherine Chatterley to lecture on the subject of antisemitism during Middle East Week in March 2013.

As a scholar of German history and the Holocaust, Chatterley was consulted in 2014 about the problem of stolen art in Canadian museum collections.[16] Heritage Canada has sponsored the Holocaust-era Provenance Research and Best-Practice Guidelines Project, through which they are investigating six art galleries in Canada including the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Chatterley has also critiqued comments made by religion writer Karen Armstrong in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher Grocery murders in Paris. In a Dutch interview, Armstrong claimed that the murders of French Jews by the Hebdo terrorists had nothing to do with antisemitism: "The supermarket attack in Paris was about Palestine, about ISIS. It had nothing to do with antisemitism; many of them are Semites themselves. But they attempt to conquer Palestine and we're not talking about that. We're too implicated and we don't know what to do with it."[17] In response, Chatterley wrote a critical op-ed for The Huffington Post correcting her historical and conceptual errors and arguing that the murders of Jews in Paris had everything to do with antisemitism.[18]


  • The Antisemitic Imagination (Indiana University Press, forthcoming)
  • "Canada's Struggle with Holocaust Memorialization: The War Museum Controversy, Ethnic Identity Politics, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights," Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2015) 29 (2): 189-211.
  • Disenchantment: The Meaning of Western Civilization After Auschwitz (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011)
  • "The Antisemitic Imagination," in Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity, edited by Charles Asher Small (Leiden: Brill, 2013)
  • "Language, Humanity, and the Holocaust: The Steinerian Triad," in The Wounds of Possibility: Essays on George Steiner, edited by Ricardo Gil Soeiro (UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012)
  • "We Come After: The Holocaust in Steinerian Thought, 1952-1971," in O Pensamento Tornado Danca. Estudos em Torno do Pensamento de George Steiner, edited by Ricardo Gil Soeiro (Lisbon: Roma Editora, 2009): 96-113.
  • Review of Derek Penslar, "Jews and the Military: A History," American Historical Review (2014) 119 (4): 1207-1209.
  • Review of Alvin Rosenfeld, editor, "Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives," Jewish Political Studies Review (Spring 5773/2013), Volume 25, Numbers 1 & 2.
  • Review of Ruth Klein, editor, "Nazi Germany, Canadian Responses: Confronting Antisemitism in the Shadow of War," Journal for the Study of Antisemitism (December 2012): 747-751.
  • Review of Alon Confino, "Germany as a Culture of Remembrance: Promises and Limits of Writing History," The Hedgehog Review (Summer 2007): 75-78.

Her book, Disenchantment: George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization After Auschwitz, is an intellectual biography of the literary critic.[19] It focuses on his neglected writings on the Holocaust and antisemitism, and explains how and when the Holocaust enters Western consciousness in the decades after World War II. Disenchantment is a 2011 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.[20][21][22][23]


  1. ^ Academics dissect modern antisemitism. The Canadian Jewish News, 24 May 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  2. ^ Featured Commentator: Catherine Chatterley, PhD. Unmasked: Judeophobia. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  3. ^ Unmasking Rising Global Antisemitism: CISA's Screening of Gloria Greenfield's Unmasked:Judeophobia and the Threat to Civilization Archived 2014-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.. Winnipeg Jewish Review, 23 January 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  4. ^ Catherine Chatterley. University of Manitoba, Faculty of Arts - History. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  5. ^ Spivak, Rhonda. "Jerusalem Vignettes". Winnipeg Jewish Review. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  6. ^ Rhonda, Spivak (October 2, 2011). "CISA Announces Its First Academic Year of Programming". Winnipeg Jewish Review. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Spivak, Rhonda (December 23, 2010). "Wiesel to act as honorary chair of antisemitism institute". Canadian Jewish News. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Chisvin, Sharon (March 26, 2011). "Local Institute to Combat Antisemitism". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Hepburn, Ben (May 9, 2012). "Canadian Antisemitism Institute Aims to Fill Worldwide Void". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Catherine Chatterley leads Opposition to Holocaust Obfuscation campaign in Canada. Defending History, 7 April 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  11. ^ Chatterley, Catherine (April 2, 2011). "The War Against the Holocaust". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  12. ^ Moses, Dirk (May 2012). "The Canadian Museum for Human Rights: the 'uniqueness of the Holocaust' and the question of genocide". Journal of Genocide Research. 14 (2): 215–238. doi:10.1080/14623528.2012.677762.
  13. ^ Chatterley, Chatterley. "Dr. Catherine Chatterley Interviews CMHR About Content Of Holocaust Gallery". Winnipeg Jewish Review. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  14. ^ Chatterley, Catherine (March 3, 2011). "A History of Israel Apartheid Week". The National Post. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  15. ^ Winnipeg university head fights Israel Apartheid Week. The Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  16. ^ Rollason, Kevin (February 7, 2014). "Art Sleuths on Nazi Trail". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Thooft, Lisette. "Karen Armstrong: 'There is Nothing in the Islam More Violent Than Christianity'". Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  18. ^ Chatterley, Catherine (January 27, 2015). "Don't Say the Paris Supermarket Attack Had Nothing To Do With Antisemitism". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  19. ^ Disenchantment - George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization after Auschwitz. Syracuse University Press. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  20. ^ "Jewish Book Council". 2011 National Jewish Book Awards. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Bamberger, W. C. "Review of Disenchantment George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization after Auschwitz". Raintaxi Review of Books. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  22. ^ Spicer, Kevin P. (2012). "SOME BUILT IT; ALMOST ALL LET IT BE: Review of Chatterley and Lipstadt". The Review of Politics. 74 (1): 158–164. doi:10.1017/s0034670512000162.
  23. ^ Steiman, Lionel. "Review of Disenchantment". Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2012.

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