Cultural Intimacy, Boundaries and Sensations: Jewish-Muslim relations in Central Asia
Chen Bram's research combines anthropological and historical study to explore connections between intergroup relations, religiosity and collective identities. It examines Jewish-Muslim relations in Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan, in late Soviet Period and in post-Soviet era. This research proposes a theoretical framework that focuses on intergroup cultural intimacy as a contribution to the better understanding of Jewish-Muslim relations and intergroup relations. Informal practices, in which sensations are playing important role, are central to the development of cultural intimacy that allows the maintenance of social networks beyond religious and ethnic boundaries. Moreover, it also allows overcoming attempts to create tensions and to stress differences between these groups.
This study is part of wider research that aims to explore the meaning of past experiences to current intergroup relations between Jewish immigrants from Central Eurasia and their Muslim neighbors in Israel and other new locations (such as New York City). This guest lecture will focus on the anthropological- historical part of the research.