Dr. Mark Wagner’s Newest Journal Article: Muslim-Jewish Sexual Liaisons Remembered and Imagined in 20th-Century Yemen

Dr. Mark Wagner, professor of Arabic, has published an article, Muslim-Jewish Sexual Liaisons Remembered and Imagined in 20th-Century Yemen, in the International Journal of Middle East Studies! You can find the article at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743820001105.

The following is the abstract of the article:

Despite mutual taboos against exogamy, memoirs and similar materials written by Jews from Yemen contain a number of anecdotes describing love affairs and sexual encounters between Muslims and Jews prior to the mass migration of the vast majority of Yemen's Jews to Israel in 1949–50. These stories associate these liaisons with vulnerability, poverty, and marginalization. In them, sex and conversion to Islam are intrinsically connected, yet this interreligious intimacy leads not to resolution but to ongoing identity crises that persist beyond the community's realignment with a majority-Jewish society. The staging of the anecdotes in rural areas where shariʿa norms held only nominal sway, in watering places and hostels where strangers might interact, and at dusk, when identity is difficult to discern, heightened their ambiguity.