Stacy N. Beckwith

Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature
Carleton College
One North College Street
Northfield, MN. 55057
(507) 646-7033

Courses in modern Hebrew language as well as in literature and culture:

Jewish Civilization (with a strong emphasis on Sephardi histories)
Personal and National Identitiy in Israeli and Palestinian Literature (in translation)
The Birth and Development of Israeli Prose Fiction (in Hebrew & trans.)
Literatures of the Modern Middle East (survey, Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian, Israeli, in translation.)

Personal Background
I am American, but due to my father's job as a banker overseas, I grew up
in Madrid, Spain for five years at the end of the Franco regime
(1974-1979). Since there was no formal Hebrew school available at the time,
my brother and sister and I studied privately with a retired rabbi at the
Balmes Street synagogue (at that time the only one in Madrid.) R. Benchimol
was born in Argentina and came to Madrid after several years in Morocco. He
was also a Torah scribe. The training in prayers and reading that we
received was Moroccan Sephardic.

I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Israeli and Spanish) from
the University of Minnesota in 1997, spending 1994-95 finishing the
research for my dissertation at Tel Aviv University with the support of
Fulbright grant.

My dissertation is titled "The Conceptual State of Israel: Textual Bases
for Dominant and Alternative Impressions of the Nation." The study examines
how Israel has taken shape in the minds of its citizens, and the role
played by fiction in filling daily outlook with distinct impressions of
"home". I focus on different pictures of the land, one's self, and others,
that emerge from a selection of Israeli and Israeli Palestinian canonical
and alternative novels, particularly works which foreground cities and
urban neighborhoods as microcosms of the nation.

My subsequent work deals more directly with Jews of Spanish lineage in
Palestine/Israel, Spain, and the wider Sephardi diaspora. In addition to
publishing a number of translations and articles, I have just published an
anthology titled, Charting Memory: Recalling Medieval Spain. (Garland
Press, 2000. Hispanic Issues Series. ISBN: 0-8153-3325-0).

Here is a short description of the contents and the contributors:

This volume of Hispanic Issues elaborates an interdiscursive picture of how
medieval Spain has been remembered by various Arab, Jewish, and Hispanic
peoples from well before 1492 to the present. Charting Memory breaks with
traditional foci on the legacies of separate Iberian communities and their
descendants, and on limited, largely textual sets of their expressive
praxes. In distinct ways, this collection takes a multi-ethnic and
multi-modal approach, departing from sociologist Maurice Halbwachs' premise
that collective memories form not within individuals alone, but through the
inner and inter-workings of actual and conceptual social milieux. The
volume hereby foregrounds the constitutive roles of communities created
through prayer, literary resonances, architecture, musical performance, and
name giving, in shaping memories of medieval Spanish contexts as well as
complex identities in the Balkans, the Near and Middle East, North Africa,
Latin America, and the United States.

Beebe Bahrami
Stacy Beckwith
Judith R. Cohen
Manuel Da Costa Fontes
Libby Garshowitz
Jack Glazier
Hsain Ilahiane
Louise Mirrer
Shmuel Refael
Dwight F. Reynolds
Reuven Snir
Sultana Wahnon

My current book project (tentative title):

"Modern Nation and Medieval Legacy: Representing the Sephardic in Contemporary Spanish and Israeli Fiction"

My study examines ideological reasons for contemporary Spanish and Israeli authors' incorporation of medieval through twentieth century Sephardic characters, and the tenor of their representation.