Aomar Boum, Assistant Professor, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Religious studies Program, University of Arizona
April 11, 2013
Room 1210 Heller Hall
Since the end of WWII, the Holocaust has been a prominent issue in Arab political and intellectual discourse. Although this issue has largely played out in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, it has also been an integral part of the North African debate in general and the Moroccan anti-Israeli and Zionist discussions in particular by the early years of Independence.
Using archival material and ethnographic interviews, Professor Boum will argue that North African and Moroccan perspectives about the Holocaust are part of what he calls the durable structures of acceptance and minimization. Using Bourdieu's habitus, Boum claims that Moroccan debates about the Holocaust have been framed and ossified in a context of social and political pre-dispositions of minimization of the Holocaust generating typological and conflicting scripts. Therefore, when individuals go against the grain and question this habitus, they are perceived as going against the principles of regular continuity that has governed the Arab/Moroccan critique of Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
Dr. Aomar Boum was born and raised in the oasis of Mhamid, Foum Zguid (Province of Tata, southern Morocco). As a socio-cultural anthropologist, his main research focuses on how Moroccan Muslims remember, picture, and construct Jewishness and Moroccan Judaism. Dr. Boum has written a number of entries on the Jews of southern Morocco in The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World; he also published on ethnic folk dances and nationalism, traditional Islamic and modern education, as well as on hip-hop and youth dissent in Morocco, and youth culture.
Sponsored by: The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies.