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Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag: Ultra-Nationalism, Apartheid, and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel

Professor Lavie will discuss her new book, ‘Wrapped in the Flag of Israel’ (Berghahn Books, 2014), in which she examines social protest movements in Israel from the Single Mothers’ March in 2003 to the ‘Tahrir is Here’ protests in 2011. She explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system. She posits that the Israeli state bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that fuses religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.

Event Details

Speaker: Professor Smadar Lavie, University of California, Berkeley
Chair: Dr Sumi Madhok, LSE
Date:  Monday 27 October 2014
Time: 18.30-20.00
Location: Room 2.02, Clement House, LSE
Event Hashtag: #LSELavie
Attendance: This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis. Our events are very well attended, please make sure to arrive early. We cannot guarantee entry.

Review of the book

Lavie’s work marks the first English-language ethnography … on single motherhood outside North America. As well, it is the first ethnography to explore the complex interplay between gender, race, and bureaucracy in the Middle East. … [A] must read for scholars of the state, race, gender, class, religion, the Middle East…” - Suad Joseph, Past President, Middle East Studies Association of North America, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology & Women's Studies, University of California, Davis

Lavie's analysis of the fusion of bureaucratic and religious power is without equal in the classics of political anthropology.” - Martha Mundy, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, London School of Economics

This is a powerful, indeed an exceptional, book on the fate of Mizrahi single mothers in today’s Israel … without the romanticism and idealism within which Israeli middle-class Jews love to bedeck themselves and present themselves …” - Don Handelman, Sarah Allen Shane Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University



Smadar Lavie is a scholar in residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Group of U.C. Berkeley, and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork. Lavie spent nine years as Assistant and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the U.C. Davis. She specialises in the Anthropology of Egypt, Palestine, and the State of Israel, with emphasis on issues of race, gender, and religion. 



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