Charles McDonald

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Charles A. McDonald is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and the 2022-2023 Scholar-in-Residence at KJCC. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. in anthropology and historical studies from the New School for Social Research (2019). He is currently finishing his first book, Return to Sepharad: Citizenship, Conversion, and the Politics of Repair, which is an experimental ethnography of the return of Jews and Judaism in contemporary Spain. His writing has appeared in journals including Comparative Studies in Society and History, Cultural Anthropology, and American Ethnologist. His most recent publication —a chapter on the ethics of refusal—can be found in the volume Reparative Citizenship for Sephardi Descendants: Returning to the Jewish Past in Spain and Portugal (2023), edited by Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor. A new ethnographic project, Queer Nightlife Ecologies, investigates how raving and nightlife are reshaping the pandemic politics of care, pleasure, and ethics. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Posen Foundation, the Center for Jewish History, and the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN). Before coming to NYU, McDonald held postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University and Rice University, and has been a visiting researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Since 2015, he has been Managing Director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (ICSI) at the New School.

At the KJCC, McDonald will continue working on the politics of race, religion, and citizenship in Spain and the Sephardi Jewish diaspora. His residency will highlight the history and ongoing reception of Spain’s 2015 Sephardi citizenship law in the Americas through collaborations with colleagues, public outreach, and student activities on campus.

To learn more about KJCC Scholar-in-Residence Charles McDonald’s work, visit this link:


Past Scholar-in-Residence:

Nick Jones