Daniela Flesler: The “Rediscovery” of Spain’s Jewish Heritage
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What was discovered in Lucena, Spain, in 2006, and how has it affected the town’s relationship to its Jewish history?
Daniela Flesler is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She was born in Argentina in a family of Eastern European Jewish immigrants and received her Ph.D. in Spanish from Tulane University in 2001.
Her research and teaching interests include the global phenomena of immigration and tourism with a focus on Spain’s relations with North Africa and Latin America. Her writing has focused on cultural identity in the lives of Jewish and Muslim minority populations in Spain today. Flesler’s first book The Return of the Moor: Spanish Responses to Contemporary Moroccan Immigration examined the anxiety over symbolic and literal boundaries permeating Spain’s reception of Moroccan immigrants. In 2013 she co-edited a volume of essays, Revisiting Jewish Spain in the Modern Era, which explores the different and contradictory ways in which Spain as a nation has tried to come to terms with its Jewish memory and with the absence and presence of Sephardic Jews from the nineteenth century to the present.
She was awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and National Endowment for the Humanities for her latest project, The Memory Work of Sepharad: New Inheritances for Twenty-First Century Spain. Co-authored with Adrián Pérez Melgosa, it explores the phenomenon of the “re-discovery” of Spain’s Jewish heritage.