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‎14 Heshvan 5780 | ‎12/11/2019

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The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village, with Ruth Behar

The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village, with Ruth Behar

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question:  What are “madreñas” and how are they used?

Ruth Behar is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was born in Havana, Cuba to a Jewish-Cuban family of Sephardic Turkish, and Ashkenazi Polish and Russian ancestry, and was five when her family immigrated to New York, where she attended local public schools. In 1977 she received her B.A. in Letters from Wesleyan University. She then went on to receive an M.A. and PhD in cultural anthropology from Princeton University. A writer of anthropology, essays, poetry and fiction, she often focuses on issues related to women and feminism.  She has been the recipient of many prestigious fellowships and awards for her scholarly and artistic work and her personal essays have been published in a range of anthologies.

Dr. Behar’s first book was based on the work she did for her PhD thesis.  The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village: Santa María del Monte* was published in 1986.  Based on research she did beginning in the 1970s, it tells the story of life in a small village in northern Spain at a time when changes in social and economic structures were transforming traditional rural life during the late Franco years.

*Now called Santa María del Condado (link to their webpage)