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Anthropologist Aomar Boum to discuss how North African Jews and Muslims partnered to fight anti-Semitism in the late 1930s, January 28, 2016

Anthropologist Aomar Boum will discuss the findings from his research at the United State Holocaust Museum detailing a partnership between North African Jews and Muslims to fight racism and anti-Semitism.

Boum’s talk, “The Anti-Fascist Alliance: North African Jews and Muslims partner against French and Nazi Anti-Semitism, 1936-1940,” will be held on Thursday, January 28, 5:00pm, in Taylor Hall, room 203. This event is free and open to the public.

Boum spent 6 months as a resident scholar at the Holocaust Museum and his talk will largely draw from a story of Jewish-Muslim relations before the Nazi occupation of France in the context of German anti-Semitic laws and Muslim--as well as Jewish--debates over Palestine and Jerusalem. He will also address the questions of European Jewish and non-Jewish refugees in Morocco and Algeria even before Hitler's invasion of Paris and how many of them escaped death in Nazi camps even though they were interned in Vichy labor camps and used in forced labor to build railroads.

A professor of anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles, Boum’s ethnographic work engages many cultural, social, political and academic taboos in the Middle East and North Africa region including the place of religious minorities such as Jews, Baha’is, Shias and Christians in post-independence nation states. He has written on different topics such as Moroccan Jewish historiography, Islamic archives and manuscripts, education, music, youth, and sports. Much of Boum’s work has focused on the anthropology of Jewish-Muslim relations in an age of communal violence especially generational Muslims’ memories of Moroccan Jews, and this is the focus of his recent book, Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco.

Boum is currently at work on a book (with Daniel Schroeter), The Monarchy, Jews and Holocaust Politics in Morocco, 1930-Present and another project, Virtual Jews: An Ethnography of Moroccan Jews Online.

This lecture is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, January 18, 2016