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Dalia Kandiyoti
CUNY Research Foundation, College of Staten Island (Staten Island, NY 10314-6609)
Becoming Iberians, Becoming Sephardis: Spanish and Portuguese Citizenship Laws for Sephardi Descendants in the Americas

Writing an article about the intersection of history, heritage, and religion in the Sephardi dual citizenship laws passed by Spain and Portugal in 2015.

The project is to research and write a 20-30-page article based on oral histories conducted with applicants for Spanish or Portuguese citizenship based on nationality laws in those countries created for descendants of Sephardi Jews. The article focuses on a particular group, individuals from the U.S. Southwest and Latin America who are not Jewish identified but are descendants of conversos, Jews converted to Christians. I explore how applicants' identities are transformed as a result of the genealogical research required by the application, and how applicants perceive themselves in terms of multiple new belongings as Sephardis and potential Iberians. The research will contribute Latinx/Latin American and Jewish Studies as well to our understanding of new forms of citizenship and inclusion in national polities, including especially around multiple citizenship and citizenship as a form of redress for historical injustices.

Project fields:
Jewish Studies; Latin American Studies; U.S. Regional Studies

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$15,000 (approved)
$15,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2020 – 7/31/2020