Jessie Serene Stoolman
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Los Angeles, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10351
Approve DateApril 13, 2022
Project TitleStoolman, Jessie (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "Black and Jewish: The Social Life of Archives in Morocco"
Drawing from history, information studies, and anthropology, my project investigates why daily entanglements between Black and Jewish North Africans have been largely untold. When assumed to be separate groups, archival representation in Morocco appears unequal. While two state-sponsored archives are dedicated to Jewish histories, only one private museum focuses on Black Morocco. However, stories abound of complex interactions, from shared ritual practices to relationships structured by slavery, within national, communal, and family archives dating back to the early colonial period. These traces of Black-Jewish and Black Jewish history beg the question – what can the Moroccan archival landscape tell us about these intertwined pasts? To understand how Black-Jewish Morocco has been forgotten, I will trace the social life of archives attesting to their entanglements. This entails documenting the provenance of Black-Jewish records, interviewing archivists about curatorial practices, and observing affective responses of community members to institutional archives. Given the unevenness of Morocco’s archival landscape, I will also record oral histories with Black and Jewish Moroccans about their shared memories and private family collections that reflect communal intimacies. Finally, I will support ongoing community-led projects to build archives of Black Morocco, like the Cheykh Omar Museum in Akka.