Jewish Spain in American Tongue: The Sephardic Return of Emma Lazarus

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January 30 @ 7:30 pm

Emma Lazarus, the 19th-century Sephardic American poet and translator, expressed an identity particularly engaged with the Jewish legacy of medieval Spain. This ASF Young Sephardi Scholars Series Lecture by 2018 Broome & Allen Fellow Dr. Leonard Stein will explore Lazarus’s proto-Zionism, sexuality, and advocacy for a compassionate American society, positions informed by her readings of al-Andalus and the Spanish Inquisition as interpellated by contemporary German Jewish scholars. Comparing her poetry with these historical sources reveals how her famous work against anti-Semitism and nationalist chauvinism stem from a commitment to her ancestral past.

Leonard Stein is a Connaught International Doctoral Scholar for the Centre for Comparative Literature in a collaborative program with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. His research compares medieval Jewish-Iberian identity with modern literature from the Sephardic diaspora. He currently serves as the President pro tem and program chair for the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies and editor for the University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought. His newest publications include “Jubanidad and the Literary Transmission of Cuban Crypto-Judaism” for the forthcoming edited volume, Caribbean-Jewish Crossings: Atlantic Literature and Theory (University of Virginia Press), and “The New Literature of Hip Hop Music” for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Music Studies.

Ticket Info: $10 general; reservation required online

Tickets: Available online



January 30
7:30 pm
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Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th Street
New York City, NY 10011 United States


Center for Jewish History
(212) 294-8301