“Archaeology and Jewish Itineraries in Sicily” at the 2018 tourismA (Florence, 16-18 February 2018)

New research on archaeological evidence of Jews in Sicily from Antiquity to the Middle Ages will be presented at the 2018 "tourismA" Salon for archaeology at the Palazzo dei Congress in Florence from 16-18 February 2018. Free and open to the public (in Italian). Program 2018 (link).

Archeologia ed Itinerari Giudaici (link)
Domenica 18 febbraio 2018, Palazzo dei Congressi, Sala 4 ore 10:00 – 13:00
Project on “Testimonianze ebraiche e paesaggio nella cuspide orientale della Sicilia in periodo romano e tardoantico” a cura di Archeoclub d’Italia sede di Noto (Sr)

«Ebrei e non ebrei nel territorio di Camarina in età tardoantica»
Corrado Bonfanti sindaco di Noto
Luca Cannata sindaco di Avola
Baruch Triolo presidente Charta delle Judeche di Sicilia
Attilio Funaro presidente Istituto Internazionale di Cultura Ebraica (Palermo)
Giovanni Di Stefano docente Università della Calabria
Angelica Ferrara dottoranda Università di Roma Tor Vergata

«Testimonianze ebraiche di età tardoantica a Noto antica e nel Siracusano»
Lorenzo Guzzardi direttore Polo Regionale di Siracusa per i siti culturali

«Documentazione grafica e fotografica di alcune sepolture giudaiche tra Noto, Rosolini e Modica: un progetto in fieri»
Laura Falesi presidente Archeoclub d’Italia sede di Noto
Giuseppe Libra architetto esperto in rilievo di monumenti antichi

«Applicazioni GIS sul territorio di Avola in periodo romano e tardoantico»
Rosario Pignatello amministratore delegato Consorzio Universitario Mediterraneo Orientale (CUMO)

Information about  Jewish tombs and museums with Jewish-themed artifacts in Sicily: http://www.catacombsociety.org/outside-rome/.

Postdoc in Christian Archaeology & Byzantine Art History at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany

Researcher/Postdoc position in Christian Archaeology and Byzantine Art History in the Department of Protestant Theology, Department of Christian Archeology and Byzantine
Art History at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany (German advertisement link)
This is a research and teaching position in the fields of Christian Archeology and Byzantine Art History, including participation in the supervision of other students and in departmental administration, as well as supervision of the institute library and collaboration on the creation of a digital image archive and other work in the Philipps collections.

Requirements: Doctorate in Christian or Byzantine Archeology or with a Christian-archaeological focus in a related subject, and university teaching experience, as well as an openness towards new methods and media in teaching and research projects. Knowledge of digital image editing or databases, and experience in study program organization, are also desired.

We promote women and therefore explicitly ask them to apply. In areas where women are underrepresented, women with equal qualifications are given preference. Applicants with children are welcome.

Application and presentation fees will not be refunded.
Application documents must be submitted  in PDF file by 12.01.2018 stating the reference number fb05-0008-wmz-2017 to dekan05@uni-marburg.de.

Hanukkah 2017: A Long-Lost Jewish-American Experience Brought to Light

In celebration of the  Jewish Festival of Lights, the ICS inaugurates its digital manuscript archive on Jews in 20th century America, "The Estelle Papers," with the release of an extensive and long-lost account of Jewish life in northern New England. Written over half a century ago and never before available to the public, Gabriel Shohet's semi-autobiographical novel "Kinships" is audacious in its style and account of New England society around 1900, so problematic to 20th century publishers, so fascinating to us today. 

"The Lithuanian-born physician, Gabriel H. Shohet, MD (1892-1976) devoted his spare time to writing a book called Kinships, based on the belief that "fundamental ties unite all men."

He set the semi-autobiographical work in a small New England city of the early decades of the 20th century (the author's adopted hometown of Portland, Maine).

Shohet, the son of a rabbi, and Hebrew teacher in his youth, strove to write fiction in the "powerful, delving, yet poetic style of the Eastern European 19th century Talmudic scholars", his own forebears. The many allusions in the work to Biblical writings and Hebraic and Talmudic literature are the vehicles to express his "aching yearnings for the land of his childhood, fused with a glowing paean to that glorious beacon, "Mother America," of the early 1900's".

By Shohet's account, one of the most moving passages explores "the relationships of a rabbi with his G-d, his wife, and his "flock". The novel's main idea, however, is that we must "rekindle our belief and confidence in America's promise". In becoming "American", Shohet fought nostalgia for the Líta to absorb in totality the younger nation's social customs, mores, pride, optimism, and politics, with the understanding that, somehow, in this great, new universe, this "shining America", an immigrant Jew would find his place.

On the 20th-century literary scene, Shohet would not succeed. His novel was turned down by several U.S. trade publishers - either "too Jewish" for its Yankee setting, or not ethnic enough for a niche appeal. How could a Jewish immigrant penetrate the underpinnings of New England society? How could a nice Jewish doctor from Boston be both a non-conformist and an optimist about "man's inner sensibilities, spiritual qualities, and metaphysical questionings as to his place"? To which choir did this man preach?

Shohet had his own ideas about what was too "controversial or offensive" in his work. "Is it the chapter on Judaism," he asked one publisher bluntly, "or the 'Wisdom of the Stars' bit that is out of kilter?" The tepid response was always that the story did not have mass appeal.

A half-century after the only good copy of Shohet's manuscript made the rounds, it has been digitized and made available in hopes that, to borrow the author's own expression, "the recognition of its flaws are tempered by that of its virtues." Shohet longed for his "life's work", his "soul child" to reach "a real editor, one with understanding." Through new channels of communication and a new type of nostalgia for the immigrant experience, Shohet may finally reach an audience larger than his adoring daughter Estelle, who dedicated her own labored study on shared symbols among ancient cultures to her father, "and his belief in kinships on a human and cosmic scale".  - Jessica Dello Russo, (Hanukkah, 2017)

Download Kinships

Rereading Hebrew Scripture: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting (Milan, 16-18 October 2018)

CFP: Rereading Hebrew Scripture (Milan, 16-18 October, 2018)

University of Milan - Università degli Studi di Milano, October 16 - 18, 2018
CFP Deadline: Feb 15, 2018

Rereading Hebrew Scripture: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting

The Chair of History of Medieval Art, Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment - University of Milan, organises an International Conference concerning the Old Testament narrative in medieval wall painting. Four thematic sessions are scheduled, calling for 20 minutes papers to be presented in Italian/English/French.

1st Session: Early Christian Pictorial Tradition and Early Middle Ages
The aim is to bring into focus the relationship between the monumental pictorial tradition set up in the early Christian Rome and its reworking in the early Middle Ages. To what extent did the paradigm of Santa Maria Maggiore, Old St. Peter’s and San Paolo fuori le Mura expressed its leading role in Old Testament sequences like those in Santa Maria Antiqua and Santa Maria in via Lata in Rome, in the Crypt of the Original Sin in Matera, or in St. John in Müstair? On the other hand, what was the impact of different models (also Byzantine), of patronage and liturgical space in setting the iconographic programme?

2nd Session: The Thematic and Narrative Development in the Romanesque Period
The widespread revival of early Christian iconography in the Romanesque period is reflected by the Old Testament narrative, which regains room in church decorations, especially dealing with the first part of the Genesis: mainly in the Roman area (Santa Maria in Ceri, San Tommaso in Anagni, San Paolo inter vineas in Spoleto, Castro dei Volsci, Ferentillo, San Giovanni a Porta Latina), but also in the South (Sant’Angelo in Formis, Santa Maria d’Anglona), in the northern Italy (Galliano, Agliate, Carugo, Muralto, Acquanegra), north of the Alps (Saint-Savin and Château-Gontier in France; Idensen, Brauweiler and Berghausen in Germany; Gurk and Matrei in Austria), and in the Iberian Peninsula (Bagüés, Sigena). The session will offer the opportunity to compare subjects, themes and solutions on a European scale, highlighting continuity, recurrences, peculiarities, deviations and anomalies.

3rd Session: Old Testament Cycles and Multi-layered Meaning
Universal chronicles remind us that an Old Testament cycle was primarily a historical and chronological depiction of the humankind on the path to salvation: the ‘visual device’ in the nave of Acquanegra is a clear example. Still, the events before the Incarnation shall be understood in a figurative sense, what is depicted in Agliate lining up the Creation of Adam and Eve precisely above the Annunciation and the Nativity. This does not preclude a manipulation driven by political claims, as seems to be expressed in the cycle of Joseph in San Marco in Venice. Therefore, a full account of the visual relationships within the liturgical space is required.

4th Session: The Role of Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets and Kings
Since at least the mid 5th century, with the mosaic panels in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, the Hebrew Scripture has also been illustrated through the stories of its protagonists: Patriarchs (Moses
and Joshua in San Calocero in Civate), Judges (Samson in Galliano and Civate, Gideon in Civate and Sant’Angelo in Formis), Prophets (Ezekiel and Daniel in Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome), Kings (David in Müstair and Malles), involving a wide range of meanings, relationships and implications, which are still waiting to be figured out.

Proposals should cover a wide range of aspects concerning each session, giving priority to the iconographic approach, to the relationships with the liturgical space and to the historical-institutional frame. Topics dealing with the monumental contexts mentioned above are especially welcome.
Proposals will be evaluated by the conference scientifc committee.
Submissions for a 20 minutes paper (in Italian/English/French) should include: paper title, abstract of around 300 words, a short CV including current affliation and full contact details. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file.
Proposals and enquiries should be sent to: oldtestament2018@gmail.com

Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2018.
Notification to the applicants: by 31 March 2018.
Final programme: by September 2018.
It is expected to publish in a double-blind Peer review Series.
Speakers will be asked to provide a final paper by 30 June 2019.

Practical Information
There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
Coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners will be provided to all speakers. Travel and accommodation expenses cannot be covered, but every effort will be made to secure special hotel rates.

Conference Director
Fabio Scirea, PhD, Lecturer in History of Medieval Art
Conference Scientifc Committee
Mauro della Valle, Stella Ferrari, Paolo Piva, Fabio Scirea, Andrea Torno Ginnasi, History of Medieval Art, University of Milan

ICS Vice President Robin Jensen (Notre Dame) Speaks on “Christian Identities and the Destruction of Gods’ Statues in Roman Africa” in Toledo Museum Colloquium (December 7-8, 2017)

(Source: Mary Jaharis Center) Art and Identity in the Late Roman World, Toledo Museum of Art, GlasSalon, December 7–8, 2017)

This colloquium is undertaken in conjunction with the exhibition Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art. Art and Identity in the Late Roman World is generously supported by The Ferrell Family Fund and the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation with additional support from Bowling Green State University.


December 7
Adam Levine (Toledo Museum of Art)
Religious Metanarratives and the Emergence of Identity in Late Antiquity

Sean Leatherbury (Bowling Green State University)
Deliberate Provincialism: Identity, Iconography and Style in the Mosaics of Late Antique Syria

Robin Margaret Jensen (University of Notre Dame)
Christian Identities and the Destruction of Gods' Statues in Roman Africa

Ann Kuttner (University of Pennsylvania)
Our Past Recast, Our Future, Bright: Old Statues as New in Late Roman Christian and Civic Cityscapes

December 8
Douglas Boin (Saint Louis University)
Constantine's Fountain: From Jewish to Christian Art to a Social History of Late Antique Material Culture

Felipe Rojas (Brown University)
Archaeophilia in Late Antique Anatolia and Beyond

Ashley Jones (University of Florida)
Kings of the Romans

Susanna McFadden (Fordham University)
Visual Theater in the Late Antique Wall Paintings of Amheida, Egypt