Theses Doctoral

Recovering Jewish Spain: Politics, Historiography and Institutionalization of the Jewish Past in Spain (1845-1935)

Friedman, Michal Rose

This dissertation is a study of initiatives to recover the Jewish past and of the emergence of Sephardic Studies in Spain from 1845 to 1935. It explores the ways the Jewish past became central to efforts to construct and claim a Spanish patria, through its appropriation and integration into the nation's official national historical narrative, or historia patria. The construction of this history was highly contentious, as historians and politicians brought Spain's Jewish past to bear in debates over political reform, in discussions of religious and national identity, and in elaborating diverse political and cultural movements. Moreover, it demonstrates how the recovery of the Jewish past connected--via a Spanish variant of the so-called "Jewish question"--to nationalist political and cultural movements such as Neo-Catholicism, Orientalism, Regenerationism, Hispanism, and Fascism. In all of these contexts, attempts to reclaim Spain's Jewish past--however impassioned, and however committed--remained fractured and ambivalent, making such efforts to "recover" Spain's Jews as partial as they were compromised.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Carlebach, Elisheva
Yerushalmi, Yosef
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 17, 2012