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Daniela Flesler
SUNY Research Foundation, Stony Brook (Stony Brook, NY 11794-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 7/31/2018

The Memory Work of Sepharad: New Inheritances for 21st-Century Spain

Completion of a book-length study of how modern Spain is addressing and developing its Jewish history.

My book project studies the long-ranging implications of the current “re-discovery” of Spain’s Jewish past. Since the mid 1980s, many cultural and political initiatives have engaged with the memory of Jewish Spain and attempted to officially reconnect Spain with the Jewish world. Today, all things Sepharad are widely marketed throughout Spain, from cultural festivals, museums, former synagogues and Jewish quarters, to historical novels, travel guides, music and cookbooks. The 2015 Law granting Spanish nationality to the descendants of Jews expelled in 1492 is the latest example of this phenomenon. The broad public circulation of new narratives that are putting Spanish Jews at their center has the potential to produce profound social transformations. The book explores the ways in which the memory of Sepharad has allowed Spaniards to rethink long-established notions of cultural identity within the recent debates over Spain's historical memory.