Visiting Doctoral Fellow
Molly Theodora Oringer is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at UCLA. Her dissertation addresses the legacy of Lebanon’s Jewish community and its spaces after the Lebanese Civil War (1975 – 90) and the mobilisation of concepts of Lebanese conviviality, everyday interactions with “otherness” and the development of a collective Lebanese national narrative as these concepts are embodied in the context of post-civil war spaces. In particular, she strives to understand better how so-called minority spaces—in this case, former Jewish spaces such as synagogues, neighbourhoods and cemeteries—are rehabilitated, ignored or repurposed and also how the relation between these arenas and concepts of belonging are understood by the Lebanese public. She draws on theoretical approaches from anthropology, history and spatial analyses address the relationship between minority communities, national narratives, place and citizenship. Most urgently, this involves considering how the ostensibly multifaceted, multi-sectarian nature of Lebanon, once considered the impetus for the so-called Balkanisation of the region, is utilised in its revival for the purposes of strategic marketing and, in turn, how such narratives are incorporated into the built environment, resulting in spaces in which the Lebanese public grapples with concepts of national belonging and intercommunal relations.