Fall 2022 - Spring 2023
Before joining the KJCC as its 2022-2023 Scholar-in-Residence, Charles McDonald held the Sava Ranisavljevic Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University, where he was appointed in Spanish and Portuguese, Jewish Studies, and Anthropology. Previously, he was the Samuel W. and Goldye Marian Spain Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Rice University. McDonald received his Ph.D. in anthropology and historical studies from the New School for Social Research, where he continues to serve as the Managing Director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (ICSI). He is 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 second book project, Queer Nightlife Ecologies: Arts of the Underground in the Era of COVID, investigates how the pandemic has affected queer nightlife workers and the communities that sustain underground house and techno scenes. This research proposes that queer nightlife practices are not only reshaping the pandemic politics of COVID but also offer resources for reimagining care, pleasure, and ethics more broadly.
His most recent article, “Rancor: Sephardi Jews, Spanish Citizenship, and the Politics of Sentiment,” was published last year in Comparative Studies in Society and History. Another article, “‘Sefarad Tira Mucho, Pero No Tanto’: Sephardic Citizenship and the Ethics of Refusal,” is forthcoming in the volume Reparative Citizenship in Spain and Portugal: Sephardi Jews, Reconciliation, and Return, edited by Dalia Kandiyoti and Rina Benmayor (Berghahn). McDonald has held visiting research positions at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 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).
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. In Spring 2023, he will also join the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU as a Visiting Assistant Professor.
To learn more about KJCC Scholar-in-Residence Charles McDonald’s work, visit this link: