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Mark your calendars for Oct. 29-30 for the MJSA fall conference at York University 


“Space and Place in Southern Jewish History”

48th Annual Conference, Southern Jewish Historical Society

Rice University

October 20-22, 2023

Houston, TX

The Southern Jewish Historical Society will convene in Houston, Texas on the campus of Rice University for its 48th annual conference on October 20-22, 2023. Known as the “Bayou City,” “Energy City,” “Clutch City,” and “Space City,” Houston’s many names reflect its diverse and rich history. The city’s multifaceted identity reflects its position as a crossroad between the American South and the American West, and between the Mexican and Latin American North and the United States.

As we gather just around the corner from the NASA Johnson Space Center, this year’s conference theme is “Space and Place in Southern Jewish History.” We seek to understand how physical spaces — neighborhoods, borders, boundaries, and the built environment – have shaped Southern Jewish history, and we also aspire to make space in the field for underrepresented narratives, such as the experiences of Jews of Latinx, Black, Sephardi, and Mizrahi descent, exploring how they have made a place for themselves in the American South.

Centering the notion of “space and place” in various ways, paper and panel submissions are encouraged to explore Southern Jewish history through the lens of social, cultural, environmental, transnational, and legal frameworks. How has the idea of “space” — whether homeland, border, diaspora, neighborhood, or building – informed and transformed Southern Jewish identity? How can mapping software and other digital humanities tools help us to understand the Southern Jewish experience in new ways? How have Southern Jews found their place in a region defined by racial, political, sexual, and other boundaries? Finally, how does making space for Southern Jews who identify as Latinx, Black, Sephardi, or Mizrahi Jews, as well as those who come from Crypto-Jewish backgrounds, modify and enrich our understanding of Southern Jewish identity?


Please address any questions to conference co-chairs Joshua Furman and Mark Goldberg at


Dr. Joshua Furman

Associate Director, Program in Jewish Studies
Curator, Joan and Stanford Alexander South Texas Jewish Archives

Rice University
Rayzor 120

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