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Deviant Yeshiva: Part 3-Jews and Race

Jews and race

Private location,

10/11 18:30

How do our histories and experiences of colonization overlap and intersect? Talk among yourselves during the Deviant Yeshiva.

Being Jewish, Being Weird


Are you feeling weird? Are having trouble explaining your Jewish identity, and why it is important to you? Welcome to the club! We are here to help…make you even more confused! We will read texts by weird Jews (and some non-Jews) about how weird it is to be Jewish. The idea is to create a safe space for conversations that never seem to have a place.

Locating common grounds: Jews and Race

Defining of the colonial framework is a dichotomous dynamic between the ‘civilized’ versus the ‘barbarian’. ‘Barbarians’ are subject to persecution by the civilized hegemony. Various groups have been made victims of this ‘civilizing project’. The expulsion of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, the conquest of the Americas, witch hunts, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the Holocaust are all events that recount the violent enforcement of civility. The negation of those perceived as ‘barbaric’ is enforced by way of coerced assimilation, structural persecution, and genocide. Aimé Césaire, co-founder of the Négritude movement during the first half of the 20th century, argued that the rise of fascism in Europe should be understood as part of a much longer trajectory. One that started in the Iberian Peninsula, passed through the whole world, and returned to Europe. In his reasoning, Césaire’s sought not to create a ‘competition’ between disasters, but rather situate fascism within the broader civilizing project. In the same way, the analyses of philosophers Adorno and Horkheimer evoke parallels between different groups of persecuted people. It is crucial to understand these analyses not as comparative hierarchies, but as an exposition of two faces of the same project. Through identifying the similar mechanisms underpinning distinct world events, we are able to more thoroughly nourish our understanding of the common goals and challenges shared by other groups.

What we’ll be reading:

Shohat, E., & Stam, R. (2012). “Allegorical Crossings: Blacks, Jews, Muslims”in Race in translation: Culture wars around the postcolonial Atlantic. New York University Press.

Boyarin, D. (2023).“Judaïtude/Négritude” in The No-State Solution: A Jewish Manifesto. YALE University Press.