African Jewry Conference- School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 30-31 October 2010

The International Society for the Study of African Jewry /ISSAJ ( and the Centre of Jewish Studies of the University of London, are glad to announce a conference Jews and Judaism in Black Africa and its diasporas which will take place at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 30th and 31st October 2010 .

We invite proposals from researchers interested in the scholarly investigation of African Judaism, the history of African Jews and the development of Semitic discourses to participate.

The first International Conference of ISSAJ is dedicated to a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the study of black African Jewry. What is the state of this field of study? What are the main points of discussion?

A number of recent studies have dealt with the construction of Judaism or Jewishness among Black Africans and its relation to the historical experience of migrations, slavery and colonialism. The growth of Judaism, or Jewishness among Black Africans has been nurtured by shared historical dicourses about Jews and blackness that transcend national boundaries. In addition, Judaism, Jewishness, ideas of Semitic origins and Zionism have impacted on many Black African and African-American societies.

Particular perceptions of Jewish history have been viewed as a paradigm of African suffering and possible redemption, and can be found in a variety of political and religious discourses among Black Africans.

The topic of Black African Jewry, is not only restricted to the continent of Africa itself, but also includes Israel, the United States and Europe, where increasingly Black African societies are found which profess Jewish identities and practice Judaism in one form or another.

Submission deadline: April 30th, 2010 by email to edithbruder <at> gmail (dot ) com

Abstracts should succinctly state the problematic addressed 200 words. Applications must include the name of the presenter, university degrees obtained, and current institutional affiliation, if any.

Presenters will be expected to pay conference fees and ISSAJ membership to the association as well. More information on the conference organization (hotel booking etc) and the form to submit payments will follow.