February 5, 2020, 5:30pm
Egypt's Jews, 1880-1950: Identity, Community, and Public Space
Presenter: Alon Tam
Location: Fisher-Bennett Hall 231 | 3340 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

In this lecture, Dr. Alon Tam will explore the social history of the Jewish community in Egypt, with a special emphasis on the city of Cairo, in the late 19 th century and the first half of the 20 th century. He will examine such issues as migration, modernity, social mobility, cultural capital, community building, and relations with the larger Muslim society in which those Jews lived. Looking at those themes from the special perspective of performing social identities in various public spaces around Cairo promises to shed new light on the very meaning of Jewishness in actual, everyday life.

Dr. Alon Tam is a social and cultural historian of the Middle East and North Africa. His research interests include urban history, the social history of Jewish communities in that region, historical anthropology, gender, race and ethnicity in the Middle East, and language politics, among others. Tam received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, writing about the social and political history of Cairo’s coffeehouses. A recent fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, he is currently working on Jewish social identities in twentieth century Cairo.

Middle East Center; co-sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department (NELC)