During World War II, the Caribbean provided safe haven to Jewish refugees from the Nazis. Meanwhile, Caribbean expatriates living in Europe found themselves caught up in the war and, in some cases, imprisoned. This talk revisits these entangled wartime histories through the lens of art and literature. Caribbean artists and writers trace wartime journeys between Suriname and Belgium, Poland and Haiti, to reveal unexpected intersections between Jewish and African diaspora experience. In their work, the Caribbean emerges as a site where not only Black and Jewish but also Sephardic and Ashkenazi memories and identities converge.

Sarah Phillips Casteel (Carleton University)

Sarah Phillips Casteel is Professor of English at Carleton University, where she is cross-appointed to the Institute of African Studies, and where she co-founded the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis. She has also taught at the University of Mainz and the University of Vienna. The recipient of a Polanyi prize and a Horst Frenz prize, she is the author of Second Arrivals: Landscape and Belonging in Contemporary Writing of the Americas (U of Virginia P, 2007) and the co-editor of Canada and Its Americas: Transnational Navigations (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2010). Her most recent book, Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia University Press, 2016), won a Canadian Jewish Literary Award.

Moderator: Lia Brozgal (UCLA)


Arnold Band Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the
Program in Caribbean Studies of the Latin American Institute
UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies
UCLA Department of English