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< Global South

The Holocaust at the Crossroads of Empire

West and Sub-Saharan African Approaches to African, Holocaust, and Jewish Studies


Co-organized with the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
March 4, 2021

Join the Museum and the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies for a discussion with scholars from Ghana, Israel, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and the United States as they take stock of the state of African research and archival collections on the complex cultural, spiritual, and social history of West African Jews and the importance of African perspectives to the history of the Holocaust.

This half-day workshop explores the history of the Jews of West and Sub-Saharan Africa and highlights the emerging interest among African scholars in the imperial reach of Nazi and Vichy race laws, forced labor, and internment in the region, as well as the arena of Holocaust studies more generally. 

This program will be held via Zoom and is free and open to the public. Please register here. Le programme est disponible en français ici.

Register Now


9am PST | 12pm EST | 18h CET

Welcoming remarks

Lisa Moses Leff, Director, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Viterbi Family Endowed Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies, and Sady and Ludwig Kahn Director, Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Introductory remarks

Saharan Jewish Studies in West African Contexts
Aomar Boum, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, and 2012-13 Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow

9:30am PST | 12:30pm EST | 18:30h CET

Session 1: Black African Jewish Histories

Moderator: Michael Rothberg, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

A Brief Overview of the Written Sources of the Boucle du Niger Relating to the Jewish Presence in Timbuktu from the 15th to the 19th Century
Ismaël Diadié Haïdara, Director, Fondo Kati (Granada)

I am Known By My Clothing: Jewish Refugeeship and Community in Twentieth-Century Ghana
Janice Levi, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles

West Africa and the Crossroads of the Holocaust and Holocaust Studies
Edward Kissi, Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, University of South Florida (Tampa)

Africans, Americans of African Descent, and Jews: Contemporaneity in a Society of Exclusion and the Construction of Destiny's Fatality
Maguèye Kassé, Professor, Department of German Studies, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar)

11am PST | 2pm EST | 20h CET

Session 2: The Holocaust in West and Sub-Saharan African Studies

Moderator: Krista Hegburg, Senior Program Officer, Division of International Academic Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies

Some Reflections on the Significance of the Vichy Years in French West Africa
Ruth Ginio, Associate Professor, Department of General History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Beersheba)

Being a Jew in Senegal during World War II
Alioune Dème, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar), and 2013-14 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow

Exploring the Murder of Neighbors: A Comparison of the Genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda and Jews in Poland
Sidi N'Diaye, Lecturer, New Sorbonne University (Paris), and 2015-16 Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow

Writing Postcolonial African Genocides: The Holocaust and Fictional Representations of Genocide in Nigeria and Rwanda
Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Winnipeg, and 2018-19 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow

This program has been made possible by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in partnership with the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and the 1939 Society Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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