Anthropology Colloquia: Sarah Leiter


Start Date: Oct 22, 2021 - 02:00pm

Location: Presented via Zoom

Sarah Leiter, Ethnology graduate student and winner of the 2021 New Mexico Folklore Scholar Award from the Department of Anthropology, will present her talk Friend-of-a-Friend Tales and the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico on Friday, October 22 at 2 pm as part of the 2021 Fall Anthropology Colloquia Speaker Series.  You can access the talk here The passcode is 305369

Since the 1990s, scholars across disciplines have been debating whether there is or is not a “crypto-Jewish” presence in New Mexico. Folktales often have been used as evidence in favor of each side of this debate, with one side arguing that such stories substantiate the existence of secretly Jewish, Catholic families and the other side insisting that the stories prove their own hollowness. This talk engages with the material of the debate but steps outside of its framework to suggest that, regardless of the veracity of crypto-Jewish folktales, these narratives can be socially productive tools for establishing and inhabiting crypto-Jewish identities.