Past Speakers

Beatrice de Gasquet

Béatrice de Gasquet 

Paper Title: “Parité, Politics, and Judaism: The Politics of Equality in Non-Consistorial French Synagogues”

Béatrice de Gasquet is an Assistant Professor of sociology at Paris Diderot University in France. Her sociology thesis focused on gender issues in contemporary French Judaism. She is currently interested in the sociology of the Amazigh/Berber community in France.


McDonald_June16PhotoCharles A. McDonald

Paper Title: “When is Return: Conversion, Citizenship, and the Pragmatics of Jewish Inclusion in Contemporary Spain”

Charles A. McDonald is a doctoral candidate in anthropology and history at the New School for Social Research. He is currently a Fellow of the Posen Society of Fellows.His dissertation is a historical ethnography of the return of Jews and Judaism to Spain from the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on religious conversion and citizenship laws.


Mikaela Rogozen-SoltarMikaela Rogozen-Soltar 

Paper Title: Temporalities of Conversion: Millenarian Ruptures and Ethical Returns among Spain’s New Muslims

Mikaela Rozogen-Soltar is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nevada Reno. Her research focuses on Islam, migration, religious conversion, and historical memory in the Mediterranean. Her first book, Spain Unmoored: Migration, Conversion, and the Politics of Islam, was published by Indiana University Press in February 2017.


RES-headshot (ii)Rachel Schley 

Paper Title: “The Abandoned Muslim Consistory: Religion, Rule, and Legal Identity in French Algeria”

Rachel Eva Schley is a Research Associate at Harvard University, earned her Ph.D in History from UCLA (2015) and is a recipient of the Thomas E. Lifka Dissertation Prize.


Naomi Davidson

Paper title: “Our Beautiful Algerian Communities: Imagining Jewish Futures in the Mediterranean, 1962-1972”

Naomi Davidson is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa. She is the award-winning author of Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France (Cornell University Press, 2014) and is currently working on a book about how Algerian Jews who were dispersed across the Mediterranean by 1962 thought about and enacted relationships to the synagogues, cemeteries, and community members who remained behind.


abigail.jacobson Abigail Jacobson

Paper title: “Living together, living apart: Imagining Jewish and Arab Lives in Mandatory Palestine.”

Abigail Jacobson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Director of the Mediterranean Neighbors Department. She is the author of From Empire to Empire, Jerusalem between Ottoman and British Rule (Syracuse University Press, 2011) and Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine (Brandeis/New England University Press forthcoming). She is broadly interested in social and political coexistence in diverse urban settings.


OliphantElayne Oliphant

Paper Title: “The Infrastructure of Catholic Privilege in Paris”

Dr. Elayne Oliphant is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at New York University. She is broadly interested in secularism and Catholicism in contemporary France. She is currently revising the manuscript for her first book, Signs of an Unmarked Faith: Contemporary Art and Secular Catholicism in Paris.