Event—Public Programming

Premodern Judaism from Manuscript to Print


The Newberry Library and Spertus Institute each house a rich collection of medieval and early modern Jewish manuscripts and printed materials, including two jointly owned books. This one-day symposium celebrates and examines these collections in relation to the social and religious lives of Jews from roughly 1300 to 1700. How did the shift to print affect Jewish thought? How were Jews represented in print? What is the state-of-the-field of Judaism and the book in the medieval and Renaissance periods?

A performance at Spertus Institute by the Newberry Consort contributes to the scholarly activities, featuring a program of Renaissance Spain and the Ladino oral tradition of the Sephardic Jews, demonstrating the tie between text and music.

Download a flyer for the event by clicking here.

Sunday, November 5

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, 610 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

1:30 to 2:30 pm Collection presentation of manuscripts (for conference participants)

2:30 pm Newberry Consort pre-concert talk

3 pm Newberry Consort performance: Sacred Love: Songs of the Sephardim (ticketed event)

Monday, November 6

Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

9 to 9:45 am Exhibition tour of Religious Change and Print, 1450-1700

9:45 to 10:15 am Coffee break

10:15 am to 12:15 pm Presentations

Chair: Ralph Keen, University of Illinois at Chicago

Secrets, Sodot, and the Inter-religious Transmission of Medieval Esotericism

David Shyovitz, Northwestern University

Isaac Abravanel on Wealth, Work, and Poverty

Andrew Berns, University of South Carolina

"Jewish" Books in Early Modern Europe: the Marcaria Pamphlets and other Materials at the Newberry

Adam Shear, University of Pittsburgh

Ghetto Gazing with Giovanni Merlo

Dana E. Katz, Reed College

12:30 to 2 pm Lunch break

2 to 3:15 pm Collection presentation (for conference participants)

Organized by Andrew Epps, Lia Markey, and Tali Winkler

3:30 to 4:30 pm Roundtable: Judaism and the Book

Dean P. Bell, Spertus Institute
Stephen Burnett, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Julie Harris, Spertus Institute

Organized by Lia Markey and Andrew Epps, Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies; and Dean Bell and Beth Schenker, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

This program is part of Religious Change, 1450 - 1700, a yearlong multidisciplinary project

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