Ben-Ur awarded Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship

Aviva Ben-Ur
Aviva Ben-Ur

Aviva Ben-Ur, professor in the department of Judaic and Near Eastern studies, has been awarded a one-year fellowship of more than $9,000 from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation to further her project “Patriotic Pariahs: Middle Eastern Immigrants and the Struggle for Citizenship in Interwar Europe.” “Patriotic Pariahs” is a digital humanities pedagogical project that seeks to immerse students in the ordeal of immigration as experienced by thousands of Ottoman Jews, Christians, and Muslims during the first half of the twentieth century.

These individuals had been living in Britain, in some cases for decades, when the declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire in 1914 transformed them into enemy aliens, stripped them of their freedom of movement and threatened them with internment or deportation. Their history, which also unfolded in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, is a transnational experience that sheds light on the virtually unknown Middle Eastern population of Europe, which preceded the larger influx of migrant workers from that region to Western Europe starting in the 1960s.

Ben-Ur will travel to various European archives to develop her newly launched “Ottoman Immigrants” website, which will afford students the opportunity to read immigration and naturalization cases, analyze them historically and relate them to their own lives and current events.