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The Italian Way: State, Empire, and Policy towards Jews (15th-18th century) May 2019

This conference was part of a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, the Italian Research Program of National Interest (PRIN 2015), The Long History of Anti-Semitism and the International Research Group in Early Modern Religious Dissents & Radicalism (EMoDiR) on a series of conferences on the history of Jews in Italy during what is called the “long Renaissance.”

Event Information

May 5-7, 2019
University of Maryland, College Park
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
The Library of Congress

These meetings sought to explore forms of cooperation, imitation, exchange, alliance and  interaction between Jews and Christians in early modern Italy. The research project sought to challenge the traditional paradigm that looks at the history of Christian-Jewish interactions only through the prism of anti-Semitism. These conferences sought to demonstrate strategies of coexistence between different religions and cultures, strategies that helped to shape early modern European political and social history and were instrumental in defining what has been defined as modernity. For more information about the other conferences and the research project, visit "The Jews In Italy During the Long Renaissance."

This conference focused particularly on the social history of Italian Jews and their interaction with the Christian society.  We wanted to investigate the reasons that lead Italian princes and republics to refuse the Spanish policy on Jews (expulsion), in favor of an "Italian way" (concentration in ghettos) of structuring Christian-Jewish relations. Our aim was principally to insert the study of Jewish institutions, norms and behaviors into the broader context of Italian and Mediterranean history.



May 5, 2019

May 6, 2019

May 7, 2019


The University of Maryland, College Park, Johns Hopkins University, Bar Ilan University, Italian Research Program of National Interest-PRIN 2015 "The Long History of Anti-Semitism," Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Italian Renaissance, Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center of the Sheridan Libraries, Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies, Nathan and Jeanette Center for Historical Studies, Graduate School Field Committee in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, UMD College of Arts and Humanities.


Marina Caffiero (Sapienza, University of Rome), Bernard Dov Cooperman (University of Maryland), Serina Di Nepi (Sapienza, University of Rome), Pawel Maciejko (Johns Hopkins Universiity), Germano Maifreda (University of Milan), Yaakov A. Mascetti (Bar Illan University), Stefano Villani (University of Maryland)

Organizing Committee: L.J. Brandli (Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historial Studies), Rachele Jesurum (University of Bologna), Lisa Klein (University of Maryland), Helena Wangefelt Strӧm (Umea University), Federico Zuliani (University of Milan/University of Turin)

Conference Visitor Information

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