Monique Balbuena: Book award shines a light on the diversity of Jewish culture

Editor’s Note: Monique Balbuena is a CSWS faculty affiliate.

June 7, 2017—“University of Oregon Clark Honors College professor Monique Balbuena was recognized by the Jewish Book Council for her most recent work,  Homeless Tongues: Poetry and Languages of the Sephardic Diaspora.

“Balbuena’s book was a finalist in the category of Sephardic culture for the National Jewish Book Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious Jewish literature awards. ‘Sephardic’ refers to Jews whose ancestors originated in the Iberian Peninsula, which includes Portugal and Spain.

“‘Homeless Tongues’ examines three different Jewish authors who write in threatened and minor languages by analyzing their texts and observing the way they construct their identities through choices of languages and texts. Balbuena reclaims authors who have gone unrecognized within their fields. Sometimes Jewish writers go unnoticed because they are not recognized as Jewish; in the U.S., Jewish people are often assumed to be from Eastern European Jewish communities.”

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