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Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants: Returning to the Jewish Past in Spain and Portugal

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Volume 16

Remapping Cultural History

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Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants

Returning to the Jewish Past in Spain and Portugal

Edited by Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor

343 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-824-9 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (January 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-825-6 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants is a thorough, thoughtful, and empathetic exploration of the many issues that surround the 2015 Spanish and Portuguese nationality laws and the choice, on the part of individual Jews of Sephardi descent and conversos, to pursue (or eschew) this option. In this fascinating and compelling collection, editors Kandiyoti and Benmayor have gathered an astonishing range of perspectives on the historical, emotive, sociological, and political dynamics that underlie the Sephardi quest for “reparative citizenship.”” • Sarah Abrevaya Stein, UCLA

“Kandiyoti and Benmayor's volume brings together the legal and emotional repercussions of a return to Spain and Portugal for Sephardic Jews. Beautifully intermingling questions of expulsion, exclusion and reparation, Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants treats readers to a nuanced and multifaceted examination of Sephardim. By melding personal essays with rigorous academic studies, the editors have compiled a book that speaks to the heart and mind while addressing the discomfiting realities of an invitation six hundred years in the making.” • Sara J. Brenneis, Amherst College


In 2015, both Portugal and Spain passed laws enabling descendants of Sephardi Jews to obtain citizenship, an historic offer of reconciliation for Jews who were forced to undergo conversions or expelled from Iberia nearly half a millennia ago. Drawing on the memory of the expulsion from Sepharad, the scholarly and personal essays in Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants analyze the impact of reconciliation laws on descendants and contemporary forms of citizenship.

Dalia Kandiyoti is Professor of English at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She is the author of The Converso’s Return: Conversion and Sephardi History in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Stanford University Press, 2020), Migrant Sites: America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures (Dartmouth College/University Press of New England, 2009), and numerous articles on contemporary Sephardi, Latinx, and migration/diaspora literatures.

Rina Benmayor is Professor Emerita at California State University Monterey Bay, where she taught oral history, literature, and digital storytelling. Her books and co-edited volumes include: Romances Judeo-Españoles de Oriente (Gredos 1979; on Sephardic ballads); Latino Cultural Citizenship (Beacon 1997); Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios (Duke 2001); and Memory, Subjectivities, and Representation: Approaches to Oral History in Latin America, Portugal, and Spain (Palgrave 2015).

Subject: History (General)Cultural Studies (General)History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Southern Europe


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