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April, 2021

19Apr11:30 am1:00 pmVirtual EventSurviving the Ghetto11:30 am - 1:00 pm Italian Jewish Studies Seminar:Italian Jewish Studies Seminar

Event Details

Presentation of Serena Di Nepi’s new book: Surviving the Ghetto (Brill, 2021)

Serena Di Nepi (University of Rome) in conversation with Emily Michelson (University of St. Andrews). Introduced and moderated by David Malkiel (Bar-Ilan University).

With this English edition of Surviving the Ghetto, Serena Di Nepi traces the troubled and compelling history of the birth of the ghetto in sixteenth-century Rome. From the arrival of the Sephardim to the Italian wars, and the incredible story of an accusation of ritual homicide that was never made, the research sketches a picture of Jewish society, its institutions and its ruling class during the first fifty years of segregation. How did Jews react to the ghetto? Did their institutional organization change, and how? What was the impact of the restrictive laws regarding their professions and their working environment? What was the role of the rabbis in such a problematic moment? What became of Rome’s Jewish bankers? This book addresses these questions.

Serena Di Nepi is Associate professor of Early Modern History at the University of Rome La Sapienza. She is a  cultural and social historian with a special focus on the history of Jews in Early Modern Italy and the social dynamics of the Roman ghetto. Her forthcoming book focuses on  the history of Muslim slavery and conversion in the Papal States. Di Nepi published extensively on the history of the ghetto. She is  one of the  founders of the international research group “Jews in Italy in the Long Renaissance” (2015-2020). In 2015, she was visiting researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (ERC project led by professor Kaplan). In 2021-2022, she will be visiting research fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and at the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies in Hamburg

is a historian of religious culture in Italy, with a special interest in interfaith encounter. Her first book, The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy (Harvard UP, 2013) examined Catholic preachers across Italy grappling with the Protestant Reformation in their sermons. Michelson’s current book, You Will Dislike This: Catholic Spectacle and Rome’s Jews, examines Catholic-Jewish encounter around the spectacle of forced preaching to Jews in Rome. It is forthcoming in 2022 by Princeton University Press. She recently co-edited the Brill Companion to Religious Minorities in Early Modern Rome which came out in December 2020, and features an important contribution by Serena Di Nepi. She is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland.

Professor David Malkiel of Bar-Ilan University, in Israel, has published widely on Jewish life in medieval and early modern Europe. Reconstructing Ashkenaz (2009) is an interpretation of Jewish culture in medieval Franco-Germany. On the Jews of Italy, a primary field of interest, he has published four books, most recently Stones Speak (2014), an interdisciplinary study of the Hebrew tombstones of Padua. His most recent book is Strangers in Yemen (2021), on travel and cultural encounter in nineteenth-century Yemen.

Image: Maquette of the Tempio Maggiore in Rome, Jewish Museum of Rome.

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