Unmixing the Holy City: Urban Coexistence and Segregation in Early 20th Century Jerusalem
Over the past decade, the question of Jewish-Arab residential mixing in Israel has been the subject of fierce contestation in Knesset legislation, rabbinical responsa, popular culture, public demonstrations and acts of vigilantism. While some features are undoubtedly products of this current political moment, other aspects have deep historical roots in the end of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of territorial Zionism. This lecture examines the decades-long transformation of Jerusalem from a multiethnic, multireligious Ottoman city to the thoroughly sectarianized and nationalized city it became by the eve of the 1948 war. Throughout, Jerusalemites were forced to mediate countervailing communal, economic, theological, and political pressures in a shared urban space. This talk draws on Dr. Campos’s current book project which has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Michelle Campos is Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Florida. A graduate of Stanford University and a former Fulbrighter, her scholarly areas of interest include the late Ottoman Empire and its political culture, the social history of historical Palestine, Muslim/Non-Muslim relations, Middle Eastern urban history, and the digital humanities (particularly spatial history and social networks).
Dr. Campos’s award-winning first book, Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early-Twentieth Century Palestine, explored the development of Ottoman collective identity in the aftermath of the July 1908 Ottoman revolution, tracing how Muslims, Christians, and Jews defined, practiced, and contested the contours of imperial citizenship and local belonging. A Turkish-language translation, Osmanlı Kardeşler, was published by Koç University Press in 2015.
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