Monthly Archives: April 2022

“Encounters”: A conversation with Magda Teter on her book: “Blood Libel and her forthcoming book on Antisemitism and Racism”

The IHGMS and the Avraham Harman Research Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem invite you for their annual series: “Encounters”; Conversations on Racism, Antisemitism, and Islamophobia with Magda Teter on her book: “Blood Libel and her forthcoming book on Antisemitism and Racism”.

May 10, 2022, 1:00PM (EDT) / 20:00 (Israel time)

Princes and Jews in 15th Century Italy

By Pierre Savy

Influential historians such as Cecil Roth, Attilio Milano, and others noted long ago that late medieval Italian princes generally implemented more welcoming and protective policies towards the Jews than oligarchic regimes (“republics”) did–an attitude that may appear counter-intuitive, should one believe through the anachronistic lens of today that accepting religious diversity is typical of republican regimes, whereas autocratic regimes go together with intolerance. Clearly, things are far more complex.

My research, devoted to Princely policies towards the Jews in Northern Italy (1370-1520)[1], set to be published by French publisher PUF in Spring 2023, intends to focus on this issue with the intent to go beyond the simple explanation of the economic benefit of a Jewish presence that, after all, could have been equally beneficial to non-princely regimes. My hypothesis is that princely policies towards the Jews were a touchstone in the history of state-building processes, as well as central to the function and value of princely power, here investigated without drawing on theoretical literature, but from an empirical perspective. It basically consists in “thinking (politics) with the Jews” (“Is it still Jewish studies?”, one might wonder on a blog devoted to medievalJewishStudiesNow![2]): but “thinking with” does not necessarily imply conceiving of the Jews as completely passive. On the contrary, it gives the opportunity to see how Jews negotiated, informed, circumvented, and, in short, partly determined the princely policies where they lived in Northern Italy.

Continue reading Princes and Jews in 15th Century Italy

A new research project in the field of Jewish Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw)

PERIPHERIES (MSCA COFUND) is an interdisciplinary project on the identity and scientific cultural heritage of minorities, specifically the Jewish communities of Europe and the Mediterranean between the 13th and 17th centuries. The objective is to explore and understand their cultural in/visibility in Christian societies through the analysis of certain fields of knowledge—located on the periphery of the dominant cultural currents—and their related practices. The focus is on the stellar sciences and their material and visual cultures as reflected in the manuscripts, images and objects that circulated among Jews and non-Jews in the geographical areas and periods above-mentioned. The project is supported by a network of experts and researchers from universities all around the world and includes conferences, workshops, courses, and different outreach activities.
The project is led by Prof. Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas of the Polish Academy of Sciences (academia.edu).