Orfalea Center co-sponsors talk by anthropologist Smadar Lavie

Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture

Dr. Smadar Lavie

date: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — 12:00-1:30

location: SSMS 3017

What is the relationship between social protest movements in the State of Israel, violence in Gaza, and the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran? Why did the mass social protests in the State of Israel of summer 2011 ultimately fail? Wrapped in the Flag of Israel discusses social protest movements from the 2003 Single Mothers’ March led by Mizrahi Vicky Knafo, to the “Tahrir is Here” Israeli mass protests of summer 2011. Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—what, arguably, can be seen as torture, Smadar Lavie explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system. The book presents a model of bureaucracy as divine cosmology and posits that Israeli State bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that fuses the categories of religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.

Smadar Lavie is a visiting fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, U. C. Berkeley, and a visiting professor at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork. Lavie spent nine years as Assistant and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the U. C. Davis. She specializes in the Anthropology of Egypt, Palestine, and the State of Israel, with emphasis on issues of race, gender, and religion. She authored The Poetics of Military Occupation, recipient of the Honorable Mention for the Victor Turner Award for Ethnographic Writing. She co-edited Creativity/Anthropology and Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity. Lavie won the American Studies Association¹s 2009 Gloria Anzaldúa Prize and the 2013 “Heart at East” Honor Plaque for scholarship and service on behalf of Mizra?i communities in the State of Israel.


Sponsored by the UCSB Department of Sociology, co-sponsored by the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies

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Ben Smith
Ben Smith
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