Confronting “Black” and “White”: India’s Jewish Women on Ancestry, Identity, and Israel

February 16, 2018 | NH Institute of Politics

In this faculty colloquium, Dr. Bindu Malieckal discusses India’s several long-standing Jewish communities. Jews have thrived peacefully in India for centuries; however, India’s Jews have heard periodically that they are not “true” Jews for a number of reasons, one of which is the racializing of India’s Jews as “black.” This accusation has often led to discrimination and arguments for their illegitimacy as Jews.

India’s Jewish men have published prominent histories of their communities, but the more personal nature of India’s Jewish women’s works allow for the documentation of individual encounters and challenges. It is in these testimonials that we see India’s Jews at the receiving end of occasional marginalization at the hands of fellow Jews, from India to Israel. 

Dr. Bindu Malieckal specializes in Early Modern Literature and Postcolonial Literature, as well as the representations of race, religion, and women. Her publications include studies of Jews and Muslims in Shakespeare's plays, African slaves and Mughal women in early modern texts, genocide and migrancy in Rohinton Mistry's fiction, and Luso-English relations.

February 16, 2018 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

NHIOP West Wing