2-Day Symposium - Diasporas of Sefarad and al-Andalus: Iberian Questions beyond Iberia, 1492-1700

Migrations in response to religious oppression and the expulsions of Jews (1492) and converts from Islam to Christianity and their descendants, often called moriscos (1609-1614) pushed the cultural, political, and economic activities of both groups into the Mediterranean, northern Europe, south Asia, and the Americas. In the diaspora, Jews, Muslims, converts from both religions, and their descendants faced diverse responses to their arrivals and grappled with their departures from Sefarad/al-Andalus (as Iberia was called in Hebrew and Arabic, respectively) in equally diverse ways. Literary and cultural productions were developed, and via translation re-developed in multiple languages and scripts—from Spanish and Portuguese, to Hebrew, Arabic, and Aljamiado, to the languages of new communities in the diaspora. The linguistic and geographical mobility of their cultural output pose complex questions that, at times, challenge the very definitions of scholarly fields of study, including the ways in which we define and locate the boundaries of linguistic traditions.

The Diasporas of Sefarad and al-Andalus symposium seeks to place the responses of each of these groups to their experiences of diaspora in dialogue through the examination of their forms of cultural expression, including but not limited to literature and other writings, and the activities of editing, publishing, translating, and consuming books. It foregrounds the importance of literature and other forms of cultural production to those exiled from the Iberian Peninsula.

Read more here: www.iberiandiasporas.com/about

This symposium is generously supported by: Instituto Cervantes Londres, Centro Sefarad Israel, Exeter College, Casa Árabe and the faculties of History, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.