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Rina Benmayor
CSU, Monterey Bay (Seaside, CA 93955-8000)
Emotion and the Pursuit of Restorative Citizenship - The Case of Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Descendants

Writing an article about the role of emotion in the Sephardi dual citizenship laws passed by Spain and Portugal in 2015.

I seek 50% funding for 6 months to research, write, and disseminate an article on the centrality of emotion in claiming "restorative citizenship" among descendants of Iberian Sephardi Jews. In 2015, Spain and Portugal passed historic dual citizenship laws for Sephardi descendants, to repair historical injustices (expulsion and forced conversion) committed over half a millennium ago. Descendant responses reveal an intensity of emotion underlying this citizenship pursuit. I explore how emotion shapes ancestral and new identities and contemporary citizenship. I will use [approximately] 20 oral history interviews from a unique archive of 52 interviews that Dr. Dalia Kandiyoti and I have recorded. A handful of scholars have written about these laws but none has based work on in-depth multinational oral narratives. Journal (rather than book) publication offers a more timely contribution to the conversation on this phenomenon. The article will be in English, with a Spanish version for publication in Spain

Project fields:
History, Other; Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Jewish Studies

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

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

Grant period:
4/1/2020 – 9/30/2020