Rupture and Return:
The Shaping of a Mizrahi Epistemology
City University of New York, New York
ABSTRACT: “Rupture and Return” challenges the ghettoized nationalist analytical framework for understanding Mizrahi identity. Although, it suggests that Mizrahi identity was “invented” within the process of the Zionist invention of the “Jewish Nation”, it also proposes a diasporized analysis that situates Mizrahi culture and history within a different conceptual framework, one formulated within a multi-chronotopic notion of temporality and space. In this meta-historical essay, the author suggests the contours of an intellectual/institutional space for critical analysis called here “Mizrahi Studies”. It re-articulates a Mizrahi perspective within a multicultural methodological approach, one entailing a relational understanding of culture as well as a non-finalized and conjunctural definition of identity as a polysemic site of contradictory positionalities.
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