Departmental Area: American Religious History
Address: Department of Religion
Allyson Gonzalez (Ph.D., Brandeis University, 2015) studies Jewish life in the modern period, particularly within the Iberian diaspora. A cultural historian, she focuses on the often highly mobile Sephardim (the descendants of Iberian Jewry) during the collapse of empire and the rise of the modern state. Drawing on a wide variety of source material, she explores the complex intersections of gender, class, and ethnicity amid changing political regimes. Her dissertation, “Finding a Place for the Past: Sephardic Reconfigurations of Spain and Palestine (1914-1968),” examines the cultural politics of a group of twentieth-century Sephardic writers and artists who sought a path to modernity through their encounters with, and constructions of, Spain, Sepharad, and Palestine. She has recently published a Hebrew-to-English translation of Abraham S. Yahuda, “Teaching Hebrew in Madrid: The Emergence of Sephardi Studies in Spain (1949),” in Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950, eds. Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, (Stanford University, 2014). Her work has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays Award, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and an Andrew Mellon Dissertation-Year Fellowship. Before returning to graduate school, she was a journalist who, with her newspaper team, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
At Florida State, where she holds the first Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Religion, she is teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, which include the Jewish Tradition, Jews in Muslim and Christian Spain, the Sephardi Diaspora (The Jews of Spain: 1497 to the Modern Period), Zionism and its Discontents, and Southern Jewish History.