Bryan Roby, “Blackness in Motion: The Centrality of Black Thought for Afro-Asian Jewry in Israel”

“Blackness in Motion"
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Thursday, February 16, 2023

1 p.m. EST
Online via Zoom Webinar (link included in your confirmation email)

Bryan Roby, “Blackness in Motion: The Centrality of Black Thought for Afro-Asian Jewry in Israel”

In conversation with Aomar Boum and Ahmad Greene-Hayes.

Part of the “Black Studies and Jewish Studies in Conversation” Lecture Series.

This talk will explore how and why Afro-Asian (Mizrahi) Jews in Israel became associated and engaged with Global Black thought throughout the 20th century. Professor Roby will conclude with a reflection on present-day Black cultural production in Israel to illustrate the shifting notions of Blackness and Jewishness amongst Mizrahi and Ethiopian Israelis.

Bryan K. Roby is an Assistant Professor of Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. His expertise is on 20th century Israeli and North African Jewish history. His research and teaching interests include Jewish racial constructs; policing and civil rights globally; and 19th and 20th century North African history. His first book, The Mizrahi Era of Rebellion: Israel’s Forgotten Civil Rights Struggle 1948-1966 (Syracuse University Press, 2015), provides an extensive history of social justice protests by Middle Eastern Jews in Israel. He is currently working on a second book, Israel through a Colored Lens: Racial Constructs in the Israeli Jewish Imagination, that explores the shifting boundaries of racial constructs in Israel/Palestine as well as African-American intellectual contributions to Israeli sociology and theories on race and ethnicity.


Aomar Boum, Professor of Anthropology and the Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies

UCLA Moroccan Jewish Studies Program

Ahmad Greene-Hayes, College Fellow and Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Northwestern University.

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