Friday, April 23, 10am
Please join us for a conversation between Devi Mays (University of Michigan) and Adriana Brodsky (St. Mary's College of Maryland) on Devi Mays's new book Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora (Stanford University Press, 2020).
Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY
Forging Ties, Forging Passports traces the histories of Ottoman Sephardi Jews who emigrated to the Americas—and especially to Mexico—in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Devi Mays considers the shifting notions of belonging, nationality, and citizenship through the stories of individual women, men, and families who navigated these transitions in their everyday lives, as well as through the paperwork they carried. Ottoman Sephardi migrants in Mexico resisted unequivocal classification as either Ottoman expatriates or Mexicans through their links to the Sephardi diaspora in formerly Ottoman lands, France, Cuba, and the United States. By making use of commercial and familial networks, these Sephardi migrants maintained a geographic and social mobility that challenged the physical borders of the state and the conceptual boundaries of the nation.
Devi Mays holds a PhD from Indiana University and is Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a specialist on transnational Jewish networks in the Mediterranean and global contexts, with a focus on Sephardic Jews. Her first book, Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora (Stanford University Press, 2020), won the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture.
Adriana Brodsky is Professor of History at St. Mary's College of Maryland. A historian of Jewish immigration to Argentina in particular, and to Latin America in general, she is the author of Sephardi, Jewish, Argentine: Creating Community and National Identity, 1880-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2016), and co-editor of The New Jewish Argentina (Brill, 2012) and special issues of the Journal of Jewish Identities on Jewish Youth in the Global 1960 and on Latin America.