Lecture on Jewish Los Angeles Series

Caroline Luce (UCLA)

In this lecture, Dr. Caroline Luce offers a preview of her book-in-progress, Yiddish in the Land of Sunshine: Jewish Radicalism, Labor and Culture in Los Angeles, 1900-1950. The book follows a group of young Jewish radicals – most veterans of the Russian Revolution of 1905 – as they moved from the borderlands of the Russian Empire to the borderlands of Southern California and then into the multiethnic “borderhood” of Boyle Heights. This lecture will focus on their earliest years in Los Angeles, highlighting the events surrounding the arrest and trial of a group of Mexican revolutionaries of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) and Jewish engagement in the radical public sphere of early twentieth century Los Angeles. Luce will explore the formation of the Los Angeles branch of the Bund, how the party’s ideas about Yiddish culture, internationalism and revolutionary change overlapped with those of the PLM, and how Jews and other diasporic peoples confronted – and transgressed – boundaries of nation, race and empire as they made themselves at home in the borderlands of Southern California.

About the Speaker: Caroline Luce is the Research and Digital Projects Manager of the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies and the Chief Digital Curator of the Mapping Jewish Los Angeles Project. She received her Ph.D. in American History from UCLA in 2013 with a focus on Jewish immigration and labor and working class history in the American West and teaches courses for the UCLA History Department and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

About the Moderator: Janice Reiff is a Professor of History at UCLA whose research has focused on the ways in which urban space, both residential and industrial, has shaped conflict, cooperation, and activism, primarily in North America.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies