*CANCELLED* 2020 Adam Cherrick Lecture -- Facing Deportation: Sephardic Jews, Race, and Immigration Restriction in the United States
*Due to issues surrounding health concerns related to COVID-19, this event has been CANCELLED. Plans to reschedule this event are in consideration for the spring semester of 2021.*
Sephardic Jews from the Muslim world of the Ottoman Empire who came to the United States during the early twentieth century stood apart from the vast majority of American Jews, not only due to their relatively small numbers, but also because of how immigration authorities and established Ashkenazi Jewish institutions (mis)classified and racialized the newcomers due to their distinctive places of origin, languages, cultures, customs, and appearance. This lecture tells the little known story of Ottoman Jews in the United States, including their efforts to navigate an American immigration system profoundly shaped by racial hierarchies, antisemitism, and Islamophobia; their attempts to evade deportation; and their initial forays into establishing new communities, institutions, and cultural initiatives across the country--including in St. Louis.
DEVIN NAAR graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and received his PhD at Stanford University. He has also served as a Fulbright Fellow to Greece. His book, Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece, won the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Writing Based on Archival Material and was named a finalist for Sephardic Culture. It also won the 2017 Edmund Keeley Prize for best book in Modern Greek Studies awarded by the Modern Greek Studies Association.
As the Chair of the new Sephardic Studies Program of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, Naar has spearheaded a project to collect, preserve, and disseminate the rich Sephardic and Ladino historical, literary, and cultural heritage. Along with Sephardic Studies research coordinator, Ty Alhadeff, Dr. Naar has created the first major online Sephardic Studies Digital Library and Archive comprised of more than 1,500 artifacts, books, and letters collected from residents of the Seattle area and across the country.
This lecture is free and open to the public. Visitor parking in the East Garage. Reception to follow lecture.