Jewish Italy and Its Literatures: The Most Ancient Minority


Jews in Italy are often referred to as “the most ancient minority,” because of their continuous presence in Italy, from pre-Christian times to today. This course examines the wealth of literature, art, and
culture that they have produced and inspired in three parts. In the first part of the course we will discuss a range of works, from antiquity to modern day Italy, to analyze Jewish Italy and its representations in historical context. We will scrutinize representations of the ghetto, Jewish learning, anti-Semitism, family life, memory, and the Holocaust in figures such as Ahimaaz ben Paltiel, William Shakespeare, Leon Modena, James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba, Natalia Ginzburg, Primo Levi, and Alexander Stille, among others. Class includes covered trip to Italy, but requires 300 word essay application to enroll: “What inspires your interest in taking this course, and what experience do you have with studying or traveling overseas?” Applications are due NOVEMBER 15 to the Program Director of Jewish Studies, Serena Bazemore (

Jewish Italy
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