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Katya Gibel Mevorach

b. June 18, 1952

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Katya Gibel Mevorach until we are able to commission a full entry.

In her most famous book, Black, Jewish and Interracial: It’s Not the Color of Your Skin but the Race of Your Kin and Other Myths of Identity (1997), anthropologist Katya Gibel Mevorach (née Azoulay) explored identity politics, “passing” as white, and other social constructs of race. Mevorach earned a BA and MA in African studies from Hebrew University in 1982 and 1988 before returning to the United States to earn a PhD in anthropology from Duke University in 1995. In 1996 she began teaching at Grinnell College, chaired its Africana studies concentration from 1996 to 2000, andhelped transition the concentration into an expanded American Studies Concentration, which she chaired from 2004 to 2005 and 2015 to 2019. She was also a member of Grinnell’s diversity steering committee from 2002 to 2005. In 2010 she became the first Black faculty member to be promoted to the rank of Professor. In Black, Jewish and Interracial, she interwove her own story of interracial identity with those of other Black and Jewish individuals. She has written and taught extensively on race as a social construct and the myth that interracial means mixed black and white, when only 20% of interracial marriages in America are between black and white partners. Her work has appeared in many publications and she has spoken throughout the country and abroad on identities and social science categories, antisemitism, the legacy of racism in the academy, and race-thinking within biology, medical research, and healthcare. In 2023 Gibel Mevorach and her colleagues L. Gregg-Jolly and P. Lostroh received a $20,000 grant from the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges for their workshop, “Unteaching Racism: Understanding and Handling Misuse of Racial Categories.” 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Katya Gibel Mevorach." (Viewed on March 1, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/mevorach-katya>.