A lecture by Oren Kosansky (Lewis & Clark University)
Within Morocco and its diaspora, the liquor commonly known as mahia is typically associated with the Jewish community, within which the beverage has long been produced and consumed. Tracing the social and cultural transformation of the beverage since the onset of colonial period, this lecture explores how the industrialization of alcohol production in Morocco has interacted with the ongoing circulation of “traditional” mahia within and beyond Jewish networks. At stake is a better understanding of the relationship between state regulation, ritual performance, and the constitution of Moroccan national identity.
Oren Kosansky is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lewis & Clark, where he is the founding director of the program in Middle East and North African Studies. His publications on Jewish Morocco have appeared in Cultural Anthropology, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and Langues et Littératures. He is co-editor of Jewish Studies at the Crossroads of Anthropology and History (Penn Press). Dr. Kosansky also directs The Rabat Genizah Project, which brings together an international team of community representatives, scholars, archivists, and information technologists to develop a digital archive of Moroccan Jewish documents.
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