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Oakland University to host ‘Jewish Communities in Mexico: A conversation with writer Jacobo Sefami’

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September 28, 2021


Oakland University will host “Jewish Communities in Mexico: A conversation with writer Jacobo Sefami” from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, October 7 in Founders Ballroom A inside the Oakland Center on the OU campus.

“Prior to becoming an academic reference in Sephardic literary production, Jacobo Sefami was already internationally recognized as an expert in Latin American contemporary poetry,” said Dr. Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo, associate professor of Spanish at Oakland University. “We are delighted to have him at OU to help us celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Mexico is home to a large and diverse Jewish community whose members hail back from places as diverse as Syria, Turkey, Poland, or Ukraine. Like in the United States, Jewish communities in Mexico have had to negotiate their own ethnic and religious identities in the larger context of the country’s national narratives.
Sefami is himself a Syrian Jew that grew up in Mexico. He will guide audiences through the maze of cross-cultural references that have contributed to consolidate Jewish Mexican identity.
“Sefami will tell us about the fascinating experiences of the Jewish diaspora in Latin America,” Campoy-Cubillo said. “From the connections between Jewish communities and Native American peoples to the highly idiosyncratic syncretism of the Mexican Sephardim.”

Sefami is a professor of Latin American literature at the University of California, Irvine. He has published articles, interviews, notes, and book reviews for various literary journals in Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Chile, and the United States. His books include: “El destierro apacible y otros ensayos. Xavier Villaurrutia, Alí Chumacero, Fernando Pessoa, Francisco Cervantes, Haroldo de Campos (1987),” “Contemporary Spanish American Poets: A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources (1992),” “El espejo trizado: la poesía de Gonzalo Rojas (1992),” “De la imaginación poética: Conversaciones con Gonzalo Rojas, Olga Orozco, Alvaro Mutis y José Kozer (1996),” “Medusario. Muestra de poesía latinoamericana (co-editor, 1996),” “La voracidad grafómana: José Kozer (editor, 2002),” and “Vaquitas pintadas, an anthology of texts related to the cow (2004).”
This event is sponsored by Oakland University’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Center for Religious Understanding, Religious Studies, and the Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement.

While this event can be attended in person or via Zoom, registration is required. To register, visit
For more information, contact Professor Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo at

Sean Delaney, Communciations and Marketing, (248) 370-3139

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