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TALK | Jews and Arabs: The Shifting Boundaries of Kinship and Difference

Nadia Abu El-Haj

Different understandings and configurations of Jewish history, biology, and identity are at work in late-19th and early 20th century Jewish racial science, Israeli population genetics in the 1950s and 60s, and genetic anthropology today. Nadia Abu El-Haj will address an aspect of that work: who is a Jew at any moment in time, and what is the nature of kinship both within the (known) Jewish world and between Jews and non-Jewish populations, Arabs in particular, in these different scientific practices and social epochs.

Nadia Abu El-Haj is assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College, with research interests in Israel/Palestine, the Jewish Diaspora, science, colonialism, nationalism, and contemporary practices of identity. She received her Ph.D from Duke University and taught at the University of Chicago before moving to Columbia. Among her many publications is Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (2001).