Lecture given by Prof. Michelle Hamilton
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: 235 Nolte Center for Continuing Education
Sponsored by: Center for Jewish Studies 2009-2010 Colloquium Series.
Center for Jewish Studies 2009-2010 Colloquium Series. Led by Michelle Hamilton.
Jewish literature in Hebrew written in the fifteenth century reflects not only the Arabic and Jewish traditions cultivated on the Peninsula in the so-called "Golden Age" of the 11th and 12th centuries, but also, increasingly, the Latin and Romance traditions of Christian Europe. The latter, as Jonathan Decter points out, have not received the critical attention of the former among the critical studies of Hebraists. In this paper I will focus on how fifteenth-century works (including an aljamiado ars memorativa, the coplas de Seneca and the Danza de la muerte), whose subject matter anticipate not only a sensibility of commemoration that resonates with contemporary theories of regret and remembering, but also provide a material artifact (manuscript) that had as its purpose an aid to memory. And while what is to be remembered, classical refrains, poems, and a didactic dialogue on death, could be read according to the standard narratives of Jewish history (according to which the Jews of fifteenth-century Spain were embroiled in the throws of a persecuting society), they also, though reveal a different picture of the past--a glimpse of a Jewish public that considered (allowed) many of the elements of the Christian past as (to be) part of their own.