The talk follows the lives of children and young adults in the modern cities of Iraq, as well as in towns and in villages. I will explore the schools, libraries, cafes, and streets in which children interacted with other children, and present the different kinds of childhood Jewish children experienced based on their class, gender and geographical location. The talk also sheds light on children’s relationship with their parents at this period. I will show how children experienced various aspects of Iraqi modernity, and how children were affected by the state’s sociopolitical and religious divisions.
Orit Bashkin is Professor of Modern Middle East History in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Professor Bashkin earned her PhD from Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies in 2005. Her research interests include Arab intellectual history, modern Iraqi history and the history of Arab-Jews in Iraq and Israel. Professor Bashkin’s first book, The Other Iraq—Pluralism, Intellectuals and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, 1921-1958(Stanford University Press, 2008) challenges conventional accounts of Iraq as an artificial state perpetually torn by sectarian strife by demonstrating an Iraqi intellectual history of nationalism and pluralism among Sunni, Shi’i and Kurdish intellectuals. Her second book, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq (Stanford University Press, 2012) chronicles the lives of Iraqi Jews and their ideas about Judaism, Islam, secularism, modernity, democracy and reform during their last years as a community living in Iraq. Professor Bashkin’s publications include 25 book chapters and articles on the history of Arab-Jews in Iraq, on Iraqi history and on Arabic literature.
Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for the Study of Religion, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies