UCLA » College » Social Sciences » History
Grad Students

Janice Levi



Contact Information

Email    jrlevi@g.ucla.edu
Office  Not Available

My project primarily centers on the oral narrative of the House of Israel (Ghana) and how their faith identity is constructed through knowledge of oral histories, performative/ritual memory, and encounters with normative Judaism.  I seek to historicize the oral narrative through archival record, practical memory, and via sites of memory (archaeological and abstract).  Additionally, I am interested in how ideological trends concerning Hebraic heritage (may have) influenced the narrative of this community.

Subfield: African History

Research Interests: African History, Jewish History, Memory Studies, Identity Studies, Race Politics, and Material Culture

Fields of Study

African History | Research Interests: African History, Jewish History, Memory Studies, Identity Studies, Race Politics, and Material Culture

Research

My project primarily centers on the oral narrative of the House of Israel (Ghana) and how their faith identity is constructed through knowledge of oral histories, performative/ritual memory, and encounters with normative Judaism. I seek to historicize the oral narrative through archival record, practical memory, and via sites of memory (archaeological and abstract). Additionally, I am interested in how ideological trends concerning Hebraic heritage (may have) influenced the narrative of this community.

Publications

Chapter Contributions
Levi, Janice R. “ Making Visible the Invisible: A Historiographical Approach to Jewish Africa from Ghana.” In, In the Shadow of Moses: New Jewish Movements in Africa and the Diaspora. Eds. Daniel Lis, William Miles, and Tudor Parfitt. Los Angeles: TSEHAI Publishers, 2016.
 
Levi, Janice R. “The House of Israel: Judaism in Ghana.” In African Zion: Studies in Black Judaism, edited by

Edith Bruder and Tudor Parfitt.  Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.

Articles
Levi, Janice R. “Beyond the Saharan Cloak: Uncovering a Jewish Identity from Southern Morocco and throughout the Sahara.” Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies. Vol. 39, no. 2 (Spring 2016): 109-126. 
Book Reviews
Levi, Janice R. “Composing Identity: Transformative Collisions in Music and Culture.” Review of Marilyn Herman’s Gondar’s Child: Songs, Honor and Identity among Ethiopian Jews in Israel.  Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies. Vol. 38, no. 2 (Winter 2015): 177-179.

Grants and Awards

UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship, Academic Year 2016-17, University of California, Los Angeles

Department of History Research Travel Stipend, Summer 2016, University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, Summers 2015 and 2016, University of California, Los Angeles

Moroccan Studies Research Grant, Summer 2015, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA)

Benjamin Nickoll Student Support Fund, Summer 2015,University of California, Los Angeles

Title VI, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Summer 2010 and Academic Year 2010-11, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) Travel Award, Fall 2010, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Jewish Studies Student Conference Fund, Fall 2010, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

College of Arts and Sciences Travel Grant, 2010-11,Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Conference Presentations

  • African Studies Association, December 2016
    • Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.
    • Paper Title: "Jews of a Saharan Imagination: Reversing the Historical Oversight of Jewish Communities in West Africa"

  • Jews in Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa, August 2016
    • Hosted by University of Cape Town and Bar-Ilan University
    • African Jewish Museum, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Paper Title: "The House of Israel (Ghana): Precolonial Memories, Colonial Amnesia and Post-Colonial Realities"

  • Jews and Color Symposium, January 2016
    • Hosted by Florida International University Global Jewish Studies Program and Tel Aviv University
    • Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, Miami, Florida
    • Paper title: “The ‘Other’ Face of Judaism: Recognizing Caricaturizations and Perceived Identites of the Black Jew”

  •  International Society for the Study of African Jewry (ISSAJ) Conference, November 2015
    • Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris, France
    • Paper title: “Shedding the Cloak of Invisibility: the (Re)Emergence of Jewish West Africa”
  • Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) Annual Conference, October 2015
    • Key Bridge Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
    • Paper title: “Beyond the Saharan Cloak: Uncovering Jewish Identity from Southern Morocco and Throughout the Sahara”

  •  International Society for the Study of African Jewry (ISSAJ) Conference, October 2010
    • University of London School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK
    • Paper title: “West African Jewries”
  • African Studies Tuesday Noon Talk Series, October 2010
    • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
    • Paper title: “The Peripheries of the Jewish Diaspora: Establishing Heritage and Identity amongst West African Jewries”

Advisors

Dr. Ghislaine Lydon

Degrees

MA African Studies, Indiana University (2011)

BA History, University of Oklahoma (2007)