UW News

May 7, 2015

Anthropologist Ruth Behar to deliver 40th annual Stroum Lectures May 18, 20

UW News

Sam and Althea Stroum Lectures, May 18 and 20, 2015.Ruth Behar, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, will deliver the 40th annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures at 7:30 p.m. May 18 and 20, in room 220 of Kane Hall.

Together, the lectures are titled “Dreams of Sefarad: Explorations of Modern Sephardic Identity, from Istanbul to Havana and Seattle.” They are presented by the UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.

The May 18 lecture will be titled “Places: Loss and Memory.” Advance notes say the talk will focus on “the movement of Sefardim, their exile from beloved homes, their attachments to different places and how their loss and memory are layered one upon the other.”

The May 20 lecture, titled “People: Longing and Reinvention,” will focus on “specific individuals, their stories, and how they have reinvented their identities as Sefardim in contemporary times.” Behar will deliver the lectures in English, weaving in some Spanish and Ladino as well.

Acclaimed for her scholarship and teaching, Behar is the author of many articles and several books, including “The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village” and “Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story,” named as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Behar frequently visits and writes about her native Cuba and also wrote “An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba.”

She has written editorials about Cuba for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Jewish Week and the Huffington Post. Her documentary film, “Adio Kerida/Goodbye Dear Love: A Cuban Sephardic Journey,” has been shown in festivals around the world.

The lectures are free but take advance registration. Visit online to register or to read more about Behar — including her reflections on Cuba and Jewish identity and recent press coverage — at the Stroum Center website.