Muslims Remember Jews in Southern Morocco: Social Memories, Dialogic Narratives, and the Collective Imagination of Jewishness
AdvisorPark, Thomas K.
Committee ChairPark, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere are two temporally differentiated sources of information about Jews, no longer present in southern rural Moroccan communities, and the question is: which factor is paramount in the formation of memory? Is it the long-circulated narratives of shared life experiences between Muslims and Jews? Or do actual current events in the Middle East have greater weight in forming opinions, attitudes, and ideology about Jews and their relationship to Muslims?This dissertation examines the memories formed by successive Muslim generations about their former Jewish neighbors in southwestern Morocco. I am interested in how social memories of Muslims about erstwhile local Jews are generated, maintained, and reproduced through oral testimonies, personal narratives, images, urban sites, family manuscripts, personal experiences, and media. I interviewed four cohorts of great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and young adults who allowed me to record their personal narratives, family and village stories, jokes and sayings in the spring, summer, and fall of 2004.Drawing on sources as diverse as personal narratives, family manuscripts, archeological evidence, Islamic legal manuscripts, media, and textbooks, I use a generationally stratified sample to understand how four age cohorts (all from the same region and whose life experiences correspond to specific historical events) think of, understand, and represent Jews. Using Labovian apparent-time sampling methodology, I argue that there is a strong correlation between the historical and ideological period and the attitudes of the cohorts about Jews. My data show that the fracturing of the traditional indigenous model of knowledge transmission has led to the emergence of new convoluted discourse about Jews. The young generation's knowledge about Jews is partly appropriated from Western and Christian anti-Semitic discourse before being "Islamized."