In Search of Jewish Morocco

In Search of Jewish Morocco

A book talk by Emily Gottreich (University of California Berkeley)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
3:30 PM (Pacific Time)
10383 Bunche Hall

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Join us for a deep dive into Moroccan Jewish history, from its beginnings in pre-Islamic Amazigh (“Berber”) North Africa to the current flourishing of all things Jewish in Morocco today. Our discussion is based on Professor Gottreich’s 2020 publication Jewish Morocco, which broke new methodological ground by interweaving Jewish experiences into some of the major themes of Moroccan history, particularly in areas not typically associated with Jews: e.g. the adoption of Maliki jurisprudence, the rise of sharifian authority, and the embrace of Arab identity. By approaching Moroccan Jews as an organic part of the country’s cultural and political trajectory, can we build a more holistic framework for Moroccan history as a whole? More generally, how do we go about constructing histories in/of the Islamic world from Jewish perspectives?

Emily Gottreich is a World historian specializing in Middle Eastern, North African, and Jewish history with a focus on Jewish-Muslim relations in Morocco and the broader Arab-Islamic world. She received her BA in Middle Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley and her MA and PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History from Harvard University. She currently serves as Adjunct Full Professor of Global Studies and Political Economy at U.C. Berkeley, with additional faculty affiliations in the Departments of History and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. From 2014-2020 she was the Chair of U.C. Berkeley’s Title VI Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Her publications include The Mellah of Marrakech: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco’s Red City (Indiana University Press: 2007), published in French translation by the University of Mohammed V Press in Rabat in 2016; and co-editor with Daniel Schroeter of Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Indiana University Press: 2011). Her most recent book is Jewish Morocco: A History from Pre-Islamic to Post Colonial Times (London: I.B. Tauris, 2020). She is a three-time Fulbright awardee to Morocco, a past president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, and a winner of the Phi Beta Kappa award for Excellence in Teaching.

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, The UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies