The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2011

The Forgotten Diaspora: Portuguese Jews in Western Africa

A lecture by Dr. Peter Mark

Monday December 12, 3-4:30 pm in Board of Trustees Room (3rd floor, Foster Building)

Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Culture

With the support of Department of Portuguese, Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Crime and Justice Studies, Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

Event free and open to the public

The Forgotten Diaspora: Portuguese Jews in Western Africa, a lecture by Dr. Peter Mark

The Center for Jewish Culture with the support of Department of Portuguese, Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Crime and Justice Studies, Ferreira-Mendes  Portuguese-American Archives announce a talk, “The Forgotten Diaspora: Portuguese Jews in Western Africa,” by the cultural historian  Dr. Peter Mark.

The event—free and open to the public—will take place on Monday December 12, 3-4:30 pm in the Board of Trustees Room, 3rd floor, Foster Building. The closest parking is in lot #7 (Directions to the campus and a map are at www.umassd.edu). Refreshments will be served.

Shortly after 1600 a group of approximately 30 Portuguese Sephardic traders settled on the coast of Senegal in West Africa where they lived openly as Jews. These Jews were protected from the Inquisition by their hosts, local Senegalese rulers who were Muslims.

By 1620, several of the merchants had left Senegal to live permanently in Amsterdam. They brought with them servants, African wives, and Eurafrican offspring, all of whom had been born or converted to Judaism.

Peter Mark is a cultural historian who focuses on pre-colonial West Africa. Professor of African Art History at Wesleyan University, he is the author of five books including ‘Portuguese Style and Luso-African Identity; precolonial Senegambia, sixteenth to nineteenth century (Indiana, 2002) and most recently, The Forgotten Diaspora: Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Creation of the Atlantic World, co-authored with José da Silva Horta, (Cambridge, 2011). He has also written about Senegamese initiation masks (The Wild Bull and the Sacred Forest, Cambridge, 1992, 2011). He is an avid bicycle rider and mountain climber.

For further information, contact Rabbi Jacqueline Satlow - Phone: 508.910.6551, Email: jsatlow@umassd.edu

 

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