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Dina Danon (Binghamton University) will discuss her new book, “The Jews of Ottoman Izmir: A Modern History.” Books will be available for sale.

The University of Washington is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19. The Stroum Center will update this page as soon as the event has been rescheduled, which most likely be during the 2020-21 academic year.

About the talk

The Jews of Ottoman Izmir coverAcross Europe at the turn of the 20th century, Jews were often confronted with the notion that their religious and cultural distinctiveness was somehow incompatible with the modern age. Yet the view from Ottoman Izmir, a Mediterranean port city, invites a different approach: what happens when Jewish difference is totally unremarkable? What happens when there is no “Jewish Question?”

Drawing extensively on a rich body of previously untapped Ladino archival material, Dina Danon will offer a new read on Jewish modernity. Through the voices of beggars on the street and mercantile elites, shoe-shiners and newspaper editors, rabbis and housewives, this talk will underscore how it was new attitudes to poverty and social class, not Judaism, that most significantly framed this Sephardi community’s encounter with the modern age.

About the speaker

Portrait of Dina Danon smiling, wearing a blouse, with a wide window in the backgroundDina Danon is assistant professor of Judaic Studies at Binghamton University. She holds a doctorate in History from Stanford University. She is the author of “The Jews of Ottoman Izmir: A Modern History” (Stanford University Press, March 2020). Danon was recently a fellow at the Katz Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she began work on new project on the marketplace of matchmaking, marriage, and divorce in the eastern Sephardi diaspora.

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