Associate Professor, Judaic Studies
Bryan K. Roby is an Associate Professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern History at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the history of race/racism, Black diasporas, and Jewish identity in Israel/Palestine and North Africa from the nineteenth century to the present. His first book, The Mizrahi Era of Rebellion: Israel’s Forgotten Civil Rights Struggle 1948-1966 (Syracuse University Press, 2015), provided an extensive history of social justice protests by Middle Eastern Jews in Israel.
His current book project, Blackness Refracted: Race and the Making of the Jewish Color Line in the Twentieth Century, traces the migration history of racialized peoples and ideas across seas and oceans throughout the global twentieth century. The book examines how early 20th century European scholarship constructed Afro-Asian Jews (i.e. Mizrahim) as Black and how, in the second half of the 20th century, Afro-Asian Jews responded to this interpellation within Israel, Asia, and Africa. It explores the histories of the Israeli Black Panthers, Indian Jewish civil rights activism, and Ethiopian Jewish migration to Israel with the aim of engaging in reparative history.