Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Hugel 103
Jessica Carr

Prof. Jessica Carr (Religious Studies, REES, Jewish Studies) will discuss how racialized Sepharidi and Ashkenazi Jewish immigration to the Americas in shifting contexts of antisemitism. During colonial American settlement, Sephardi Jews, conversos, and crypto-Jews from the Spanish Empire fled the anti-Judaic Spanish Inquisition. Many new colonial states operated as a security state in which some Jews were racialized as legally white property owners and others as black or alternative categories that decreased their rights and may have enslaved them. When Jews from the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, Dutch, British, and Russian Empires immigrated to the United States and other areas in the Americas in the nineteenth century, this early pattern of racialization influenced their legal and social positions, whether these generations knew it or not. Jews from these empires experienced new contexts of nationalization and Orientalism on both sides of the Atlantic. Prof. Carr will briefly deconstruct the legacy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Jewish responses to the enduring myths of racialized antisemitism. Jewish Americans pushed back against white Christian supremacy and expectations of assimilation. American Zionism emerged as a response to both assimilation and the concept of the Melting Pot, suggesting a third possibility: pluralism. Presenting Jewish responses to Orientalism and the origins of American Zionism in context, Prof. Carr will show several examples of Zionist and non-Zionist visions of Palestine from 1901-1938, asking who and how they pictured inside and outside of pluralist citizenship in both the US and Palestine.Using various constructs of masculinity and femininity, Jewish Americans visually argued for their right to a hierarchical relationship over the land and Arabs, which included Arab Jews and Palestinians, although in distinct ways.

Sponsored by: 
REES, Religious Studies

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Jessica Carr