Poetic Pasts: Ladino History by Other Means – ucLADINO 2023

In its eleventh consecutive year, the ucLADINO symposium remains dedicated to encouraging the study of Ladino: the endangered language of the Sephardic Jewish diaspora and its multifaceted histories. Through literary artifacts, written and oral testimony, as well as musical works, this event explores how to poetically approach Sephardic indigeneity. Particularly significant is Ladino culture’s vast […]

The Merchant of Venice and the Western Sephardic Diaspora: Fiction & History – Francesca Trivellato

Taking a cue from a passage in Shakespeare’s play, the talk analyzes the tension between the contractual freedom that Western Sephardic merchants enjoyed within the confines of the marketplace and the discrimination to which they remained subjected in their daily lives, even in the most tolerant cities of Western Europe and the Americas, during the […]

Anti-Semitism in America, Past, Present, and in Context

Anti-Semitism, long a part of the fabric of American history, has been neglected by scholars of American Jewish history until recently. Contemporary events make this no longer possible. This informal conversation between scholars will explore the history of anti-Semitism in America and its explosion in recent months. Together, our guests will consider whether contemporary anti-Semitism […]

Hope and Honor: Jewish Resistance in the Ghettos of Warsaw, Vilna, and Łódź – Rachel L. Einwohner

Most popular accounts of the Holocaust depict Jewish people as passive victims who went to their deaths “like sheep.” A common question is, “Why didn’t they resist?” In this talk, I ask the opposite question: Why did Jewish people resist? I pose the question this way because from the perspective of theory and research on […]

Ancient Judaism between Christian Memory and Jewish Forgetting – Annette Yoshiko Reed

Drawing on her in-progress book project on Forgetting, this seminar will explore the place of memory and forgetting in the reception of Second Temple Judaism, revisiting the supposed Rabbinic retreat from “history” after the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and exploring Christian and Jewish contestation over pre-70 Jewish pasts, from antiquity to […]

Lost Books: The Forgetfulness of Writing and the Forgetting of Jewish Pasts – Annette Yoshiko Reed

It is often noted how the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls transformed our understanding of ancient Judaism, radically expanding our evidence for Jews and Judaism prior to the rise of Christianity. Yet this material also stands as a striking reminder of how much of the literary heritage of Jewish antiquity has been lost to […]

Mark of Contradictions: The Creation of Judah’s History and the Case of Samson – Mahri Leonard-Fleckman

In biblical texts, we find preserved the “mark of contradictions, fragmentations, and adjunctions,” as intellectual historian Michel de Certeau once wrote (The Writing of History 1988: 313). This talk will explore the mark of contradictions in what may seem a peripheral set of texts within the broader biblical narrative, the Samson stories of Judges 13-16. […]

A Multiracial Jewish Family in Early America – Laura Leibman

An obsessive genealogist and descendent of one of the most prominent Jewish families since the American Revolution, Blanche Moses firmly believed her maternal ancestors were Sephardic grandees. Yet she found herself at a dead end when it came to her grandmother’s maternal line. In this talk, Professor Leibman overturns the reclusive heiress’s assumptions about her […]