David Graizbord

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Book Chapters: Graizbord & Lehfeldt in “Conversions”

Simon Ditchfield and Helen Smith, eds. Conversions: Gender and Religious Change in Early Modern Europe (Manchester University Press, 2017.

David Graizbord, “The quiet conversion of a ‘Jewish’ woman in eighteenthcentury

Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt, “Uneven conversions: how did laywomen become nuns in the
early modern world?”


Chapters in “Conversions: Gender & Religious Change in Early Modern Europe”

Simon Ditchfield and Helen Smith, eds, Conversions: Gender and Religious Change in Early Modern Europe (Manchester University Press, 2017).

2 The quiet conversion of a ‘Jewish’ woman in eighteenth century
Spain – David Graizbord

6 Uneven conversions: how did laywomen become nuns in the
early modern world?- Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt

Another Colloquium at UVA: Iberian Jews, Convesos, and the Question of Modernity, March 2-3 2014

Gunst Colloqium

Iberian Jews, Conversos, and the Question of Modernity

This is the tentative program for third annual Richard J. Gunst Colloquium in Jewish Studies. The Gunst Foundation has generously provided funds for us to bring several scholars to campus each year to focus on a common theme of interest to faculty, students, and the community. This year we have chosen theme “Iberian Jews, Conversos, and the Question of Modernity.

Focus of the conference: The focus of the colloquium is the experience and perception of Iberian Jews and Judeo-conversos in the context of the emergence of modernity. How did the experience of conversion, exile, migration, separation from religious institutions, cultural crossing, and martyrdom affect the attitudes of conversos and Iberian Jews toward religious and secular authority? Is it legitimate to speak of a converso or Ibero-Judaic epistemology, religiosity, secularism, or even crypto-Judaism? How did the perception of conversos affect notions of jurisprudence, nationhood, ethnicity, “race,” and religious authority? Were conversos or Jews of the Iberian diaspora proleptically modern? If so, to what degree?

Date: Sunday, March 2 to Monday March 3, 2014.

Probable location: Newcomb Hall Kaleidoscope Room


Sunday, March 2, 2014 Kaleidoscope Room, Newcomb Hall

10:30-11:00 Coffee

11:00-11:15 Opening Remarks

11:15-12:15 Sara T. Nalle, Independent scholar:

“Reckoning With One’s Life:  Numeracy, Life Course, and Signs of Modernity in Early Modern Castile”

12:15-12:45 Comment and discussion led by Alison Weber

12:45-2:00 Lunch break

2:00-3:00 Miriam Bodian, University of Texas:

“The Portuguese Jews and the Rabbis: The Problem of Religious Authority”

3:00-3:30 Comment and discussion

4:00-5:30  Judith Cohen: “Traditional Sephardic Songs, and Songs of the Portuguese Converso Regions”

Performance and lecture.

7:00 Dinner for speakers and Jewish Studies faculty

Monday, March 3, 2014

Harrison Auditorium

11:00-12:00 David Graizbord, University of Arizona

“Judeoconversos and Modernity: Going Back to the Conceptual Drawing Board.”

12:00-12:30 Comment and discussion

12:30-1:30 Luncheon by invitation

1:30-2:30 Benjamin Gampel, Jewish Theological Seminary:

“Gazing into the Countenance of the Divine: Reflections on Conversion in the Wake of 1391”

2:30-3:00 Discussion led by Professor Bill McDonald

3:30-4:30 Workshops

1) Sara Nalle will lead a paleography workshop.

2) Judith Cohen will discuss her current research on folk music in Portugal

3) Miriam Bodian will lead a close reading (in translation) of material from an Inquisition trial.

4:30 Closing remarks

Please consult our administrative assistant, Kristin Hilgartner, for assistance in arranging your travel. Her e-mail is If you want to speak to me by phone, the best number is 434 979-0810.

Guest Speakers

Dr Judith Cohen is an ethnomusicologist and singer specializing in Sephardic music and music among the Crypto-Jews of rural Portugal. She is the Spain Consultant for the Alan Lomax Recordings, and also works with medieval music, pan-European balladry, Balkan music and Spanish, Portuguese,Yiddish and French-Canadian traditions. She teaches at York University in Toronto. Recently, she was invited to Morocco to give workshops and concerts returning old Moroccan Sephardic songs to a small town whose longtime Jewish presence is now only a memory.
For more information, check our this article.

Sara T. Nalle (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 1983) has published two books, God in La Mancha (1992) and Mad for God (2001) and many articles on aspects of the religious, social, and cultural history of early modern Spain.  She is currently working on a book-length project on ethnic identity and the family in Spain from 1492 to 1700.  She taught history for 27 years at William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ) and now is an independent scholar based in New York City and Spain.

Miriam Bodian is Professor of History and an affiliate of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of two books, “Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam,” which received the National Jewish Book Award in history and the Koret Jewish Book Award in history, and “Dying in the Law of Moses: Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in Iberian Lands.”

David Graizbord is a historian of early modern Jews. His research focuses on the Western Sephardi Diaspora of the seventeenth century. In particular, Graizbord’s writing approaches questions of religious, social, and political identity as these questions shaped the lives of so-called “New Christians” or “conversos” from the Iberian Peninsula who became Jews in exile.  He has also written about Judeophobia and the culture of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions; marginality and dissidence in Jewish and Ibero-Catholic societies of the seventeenth century; ethnicity and religion among Sephardim from medieval times to the 1700s; and converso trading networks in the Atlantic. More recently he has begun to research Jewish ethnic identity and Zionism among American Jews. He teaches undergraduate courses on Jewish civilization, medieval and early modern Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Jewish mysticism (its history and principal phenomena), the Spanish Inquisition, and, occasionally, the history of Antisemitism.  His repertoire of graduate courses–offered primarily to students in Arizona’s History Department’s Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies–focuses on early modern Jewish history and Ibero-Catholic history.  Graizbord is the author of Souls in Dispute: Converso Identities in Iberia and the Jewish Diaspora, 1580-1700 (U. of Penn Press, 2004). With Claude Stuczynski, he was co-editor of a special issue of the journal Jewish History/Historiya Yehudit, on “Portuguese New Christian Identities, 1516-1700” (2011). Graizbord’s most recent publications include

“Pauline Christianity and Jewish ‘Race’: The Case of João Baptista D’Este,” in Race and Blood in the Iberian World, ed. Max Herring Torres, María Elena Martínez and David Nirenberg (LIT VERLAG, 2012); and “Between Ethnicity, Commerce, Religion, and ‘Race’: The Elusive Definition of an Early Modern ‘Jewish Atlantic,’” inTheorising the Iberian Atlantic, ed. Harald Braun and Lisa Vollendorf (Brill, 2013).

Dr. Miriam Bodian
Dr. David Graizbord

Benjamin Gampel is the Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He teaches courses in medieval and early modern Jewish history, with a special focus on the medieval Sephardim, and lectures widely on the entire range of Jewish history.

Dr. Gampel spent close to a year doing research in local archives in Spain for his first book, The Last Jews on Iberian Soil. After much painstaking work, Dr. Gampel was able to re-create some of the long-forgotten history of the Jews of the Iberian peninsula. He also edited the volume Crisis and Creativity in the Sephardic World. Dr. Gampel returned to the Spanish archives for his current project, a book-length treatment of the riots and forced conversions of 1391 on the Iberian peninsula.

An energetic scholar and teacher, Dr. Gampel is dedicated to bringing the history of the Jews to a broad public audience. He has addressed synagogues and lay groups, organizations of all stripes, and scholarly conclaves.

Dr. Gampel received his doctorate from Columbia University.

See Dr. Gampel’s new video podcast learning series, 120 Minutes With JTS. It covers the history, society and culture of medieval Sephardic Jewry. (QuickTime, a free program, is needed to view these podcasts.)

New Book: Theorising the Ibero-American Atlantic

The first two parts of Theorising the Ibero-American Atlantic, Harald E. Braun and Lisa Vollendorf, eds (Brill, 2013) focus on the early modern period.

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra

The Atlantic Turn: Rethinking the Ibero-American Atlantic
Harald E. Braun and Lisa Vollendorf

The Iberian Atlantic: Ties, Networks, and Boundaries
Francisco Bethencourt
Understanding the Lusophone Atlantic
David Brookshaw

The Iberian Atlantic, 1492–2012
José C. Moya

“A Hemisphere to Itself”: The American Revolution and the Entangled History of the Western Atlantic
Eliga H. Gould

Gender in the Atlantic World: Women’s Writing in Iberia and Latin America
Lisa Vollendorf and Grady C. Wray

Between Ethnicity, Commerce, Religion, and Race: The Elusive Definition of an Early Modern Jewish Atlantic
David Graizbord

Scientific Practices in the Sixteenth-Century Iberian Atlantic
Mauricio Nieto Olarte

Literary Exchange in the Portuguese-Brazilian Atlantic before 1822
Vanda Anastácio

Transatlantic Hispanism or Ibero-Atlanticism?
Joan Ramon Resina

New Book: Race & Blood in the Iberian World

Race and Blood in the Iberian World (Racism Analysis/Yearbook 3 – 2012), ed. Max S. Hering Torres, María Elena Martínez, and David Nirenberg (Lit Verlag, 2012).


Max S. Hering Torres, María Elena Martínez, David Nirenberg, “Editorial.”

Max S. Hering Torres, “Purity of Blood. Problems of Interpretation.”

María Eugenia Chave, “Race and Caste. Other Words and Other Worlds.”

David Graizbord, “Pauline Christianity and Jewish ‘Race.’ The Case of João Baptista D’Este.”

Karoline P. Cook, “‘Moro de linaje y nación.’ Religious Identity, Race and Status in New Granada.”

Laura A. Lewis, “Between ‘Casta’ and ‘Raza.’ The Example of Colonial Mexico.”

Ângela Barreto Xavier, “Purity of Blood and Caste. Identity Narratives among Early Modern Goan Elites.”

Tamar Herzog, “Beyond Race. Exclusion in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America.”

David Sartorius, “Race in Retrospect. Thinking with History in Nineteenth-century Cuba.”

Thomas C. Holt, “‘Blood Work.’ Fables of Racial Identity and Modern Science.”

AHA 2011: Boston

Early Modern Spanish History Notes reads the American Historical Association Conference program so you don’t have to! Following are the panels with early modern Spanish papers in them. Note: I’m leaving out  the Latin American panels/papers, because the AHA is also the meeting of the Conference on Latin American History, so there are to many for me to list. For the same reason, I have left out non-Spanish papers that appear in these panels, so some panels may seem to have an unusually small number of papers.

“Women of Independent Means? The Construction of Spiritual Life Stories in Late Medieval and Early Modern European Society”
AHA Session 8
American Catholic Historical Association 1
Thursday, January 6, 2011: 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Room 202 (Hynes Convention Center)

Chair: Sarah Gwyneth Ross, Boston College


The Devil and the Saint: The Case of Teresa de Jesús
Elizabeth Rhodes, Boston College

Comment: Jodi Bilinkoff, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“Communities without Borders: Missionaries, Ministers, and Merchants in the Early Modern World”
AHA Session 16
Thursday, January 6, 2011: 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Room 205 (Hynes Convention Center)

Chair: Owen C. Stanwood, Boston College


Between Religion, Commerce, and “Race”: The Elusive Definition of a “Judeo-Portuguese” Atlantic
David Graizbord, University of Arizona

Comment: Travis F. Glasson, Temple University

“Creating a Sacred History for Aragon in the Medieval and Early Modern Period”
AHA Session 58
Medieval Academy of America 2
Friday, January 7, 2011: 9:30 AM-11:30 AM
Wellesley Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)

Chair: Joëlle Rollo-Koster, University of Rhode Island


The Relics and Religiosity of Martí l’Eclesiàstic
Michael A. Ryan, Purdue University

Inquisition and Sacred Historiography in the Dominican Province of Aragon
Robin J. E. Vose, St. Thomas University

How the Holy Grail Came to Valencia: Sacred History in Post-Tridentine Aragon
Laura A. Smoller, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Comment: Teofilo F. Ruiz, University of California at Los Angeles

“Sacred Peripheries in the Early Modern Catholic World”
AHA Session 86
Friday, January 7, 2011: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Fairfield Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)

Chair: Kenneth J. Andrien, Ohio State University


Sacred Shrines and Profane Parishes: Diverging Conceptions of Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century Barcelona
Andrea Smidt, Geneva College

The Contours of Lay Religious Practice in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Chalma, Mexico
Leah Wotherspoon, Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Comment: Nancy E. van Deusen, Queen’s University

“Making the State Sacred: Catholicism’s Role in Spanish Politics, 1759–1937”
Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
Friday, January 7, 2011: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Brandeis Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)

Chair: Brian D. Bunk, University of Massachusetts


Preaching to the People of God: Catholicism and National Identity in Spain, 1759–1823
Scott Eastman, Creighton University

Comment: Enrique A. Sanabria, University of New Mexico

“Disrupting the Sacred Narrative in the Early Modern Catholic World”
AHA Session 124
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Berkeley Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)

Chair: Lu Ann Homza, College of William and Mary


Out of Africa: The Importation of Ethiopian Saints into the Early Modern Mediterranean
Erin Kathleen Rowe, University of Virginia

Other Antiquities: Non-Christian, Non-Roman Relics in the Iberian Renaissance
Adam G. Beaver, Princeton University

Piety and Piracy: Repatriating the Arm of St. Francis Xavier
Maria del Pilar Ryan, U.S. Military Academy

Comment: The Audience

“New Enlightenments”
AHA Session 175
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Wellesley Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)
Chair: Annelien de Dijn, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study


The Spanish Enlightenment
Gabriel B. Paquette, The Johns Hopkins University

Comment: Peter H. Reill, University of California at Los Angeles

“711-2011 Commemoration of the 1300th Anniversary of Islam in the Iberian World, Part 2: Dislocations between Muslims and Christians in the Early Modern Iberian World”
AHA Session 263
Sunday, January 9, 2011: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Room 101 (Hynes Convention Center)
Chair: Yuen-Gen Liang, Wheaton College


Muslim Legal Responses to Christian Occupation in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century North Africa
Jocelyn Hendrickson, Whitman College

Trends and Tendencies in Recent Scholarship on Spanish Muslims and Moriscos in the Sixteenth Century
A. Katie Harris, University of California at Davis

Bridging Borders: Bilingualism and Diplomacy across the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean
Claire Gilbert, University of California at Los Angeles

Memories of “Reconquista”: Disputes over Religiosity and Lineage in Colonial Spanish America
Karoline P. Cook, University of Southern California

Links to paper abstracts require membership.