June 24 – Orit Bashkin – New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq
June 24 – New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq
Dr. Orit Bashkin, professor at the University of Chicago and author of New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq
Although Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi patriots, their community—which had existed in Iraq for more than 2,500 years—was displaced following the establishment of the state of Israel. New Babylonians, by historian Orit Bashkin, chronicles the lives of these Jews, their urban Arab culture, and their hopes for a democratic nation-state. It studies their ideas about Judaism, Islam, secularism, modernity, and reform, focusing on Iraqi Jews who internalized narratives of Arab and Iraqi nationalisms and on those who turned to communism in the 1940s.