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Iraq’s large Jewish Population in Mid-20th Century Topic of Lecture

The cultural and intellectual dynamics of Iraq’s large Jewish population during the middle decades of the 20th century is the topic of a lecture by Orit Bashkin, Ph.D., from 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 13, in room 104 of the Skutt Student Center on the Creighton campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“The Lure of Iraq – Iraqi Jewish Critiques of Zionism, 1921-1967,” will examine the cultural and intellectual dynamics of Iraq’s large Jewish population during the middle decades of the 20th century – a critical time in the community’s history when both Arab nationalism and Zionism were on the rise.

Many Iraqi Jews embraced Arab nationalism and Iraqi patriotism and were critical of the Zionist project. Yet their community was displaced following the establishment of the state of Israel.

Bashkin will explore the lives of these Jews, their urban Arab culture, and their ideas about Judaism, Zionism, secularism, and modernity. Bashkin is an associate professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq.

The lecture is sponsored by the Fr. Henry W. Casper SJ Professorship in History.