Lectures

Invited Lectures, Conferences, and Workshops

"Constantinople vs. Tenochtitlán: Imperial Expansion through a Post-Expulsion Sephardic Lens," Workshop at Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, October 17, 2018.

“Humanist Historiography through a Post-Expulsion Sephardic Lens: The Hebrew Adaptations of a Genoese Jew,” The Tasks of the Translator: Developing a Sociocultural Framework for the Study of Translation across the Early Modern World (15th to 18th Centuries), Saint Louis University, March 20-21, 2017.

"Flying Camels and Other Wondrous Creatures: Natural Marvels in Medieval Jewish Travel Literature," Monsters, Demons and Wonders in European-Jewish History, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, May 22-24, 2016.

"Sephardic Migration, Cinquecento Book Circulation, and Cultural Translation: The Hebrew Chronicles of a Genoese Jew," International Symposium on Knowledge in Motion: Constructung Transcultural Experience in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (1200-1750), Washington University in St. Louis, March 31-April 2, 2016.

“Reconstituting Religious Boundaries: Yosef Sambari’s Polemics against Islam and the Sabbatean Crisis,” Colloquium on Jewish-Muslim Polemics in the Middle Ages and Beyond, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, June 29, 2015.

“Cultural Disorientation or Orientalism? The Levantine Travails of Meshullam of Volterrra (1481),” Travelers and Travels: Representations, Experiences, and Meanings, 37th Annual Conference of the Historical Society of Israel, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, June 9, 2014.

“Linguistic Hybridity and the Muslim-Jewish Imaginary in Benjamin of Tudela’s Description of Baghdad,” Conference on Arab Jewish Texts, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, University of Chicago, March 4-6, 2014.

"Translation as Subversion: A Jewish Scholar Quotes Islamic Sources during the Sabbatean Crisis," Translation, Translators, and Converts: Transmission of Knowledge in the 17th Century Ottoman Lands, a symposium at the University of Chicago, March 1-2, 2013.

“The Male Gaze: Women, Gender, and Dress in the Accounts of Medieval Jewish Travelers to the Levant,” Jews and Journeys: Travel and the Performance of Jewish Identity, 18th Annual Gruss Colloquium in Judaic Studies, Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, April 29-May 1, 2012.

“On Voyages and Visions: Iraq in Benjamin of Tudela’s Massa‘ot,” Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, Columbia University, New York, April 19, 2012.

“From Medici Florence to Mamluk Jerusalem: The Hebrew Travel Journal as a Mechanism for Exploring Jewish Identity,” Program in Judaic Studies, Princeton University, March 16, 2012.

“Perils and Privations of Medieval Jewish Travelers to the Middle East: Real Dangers vs. Tall Tales,” Intersections: Jews and Travel—a workshop at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, December 14, 2011.

“Rereading a Medieval Classic: Benjamin of Tudela and Travel Theory,” Ruth Meltzer Seminars, Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, October 5, 2011.

“Neue und Alte Welten und Horizonte: Jüdische Chronisten um 1500” [“New and Old Worlds and Horizons: Jewish Chroniclers around 1500”], History Department, Humboldt University, Berlin, July 13, 2011.

Workshop on 16th-century Jewish Historiography, History Department, Humboldt University, Berlin, July 11, 2011.

“Baghdad’s Caliphal Court: A Jewish Traveler’s Tale and Its Purpose,” Medieval Court Culture: A Symposium, Washington University in St. Louis, April 29-30, 2011.

“A Jewish Counter Discourse: Hebrew Travel Accounts of Crusader Palestine,” Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict—An International Symposium, Saint Louis University, February 17-20, 2010.

“Orientalism in the Making? The Case of Early Modern Hebrew Travel Writing,” Association for Jewish Studies, 41st Annual Conference, Los Angeles, December 20-22, 2009.

“Hebrew Belles Lettres and the Memory of Spain: Ibn Verga’s Staff of Judahan early printed book from Washington University’s Shimeon Brisman Collection of Jewish Studies,” Special Collections, Olin Library, Washington University in St. Louis, April 29, 2009.

Respondent to David Nirenberg, “Clash or Alliance? The Modern Exemplarity of Medieval Spain,” Jewish Spain: A Symposium, Washington University in St. Louis, February 27, 2009.

“Iraq—a Medieval Interfaith Utopia? Benjamin of Tudela on Shrines Venerated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims,” Association for Jewish Studies, 39th Annual Conference, Toronto, December 16-18, 2007.

“Between Panegyrics and Polemics: Capsali of Candia, A Venetian Rabbi and his Ottoman Chronicle (1523),” International Workshop on Networks of Interaction in the Early Modern Mediterranean, University of Toronto, October 12-13, 2007.

“Midrash, alternative Geschichte und Polemik: Der Islam im Bild eines Ex-Sabbatianers,” Institute for Judaic Studies, Free University of Berlin, Germany, June 15, 2006.

“Ibn Adret against the ‘Madman’—A Jewish Polemic against Islam and Its Christian Background,” Fourteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, Israel, July 31 – August 4, 2005.

“Keine Ringparabel—ein iberischer Disput zwischen Juden und Muslimen und sein christlicher Hintergrund,” Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany, May 13, 2005.

“Exposed to all the Currents of the Mediterranean—Capsali of Candia on Muslim History,” Association for Jewish Studies, 36th Annual Conference, Chicago, December 19-21, 2004.

Discussant at: Jerusalem, City of Three Faiths: History of the Past, Present and Future, Northwestern University, May 3-5, 2004.

“Exegesis of the Qur’ān, Its History and Major Figures,” Workshop on Scripture and Scripturalism, The Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis, October 9-10, 2003.

“Pagan Temples as Reflected in Rabbinic Literature—Questions of Historical Method,” Seminars on Jewish History and Literature in the Graeco-Roman Period, Oriental Seminar, University of Oxford, UK, May 20, 2003.

“Interreligious Polemics in Mediaeval Spain: A Jewish Response to Ibn Hazm’s Biblical Criticism,” The David Patterson Seminars, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UK, April 30, 2003.

“Interreligious Polemics in Medieval Spain: Biblical Interpretation between Jews, Muslims, and Christians,” University of Chicago Divinity School, February 24, 2003; and University of Notre Dame, April 16, 2002.

 “Fälschung und Abrogation der Torah – ein jüdisch-muslimischer Disput im mittelalterlichen Spanien,” Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, February 7, 2003.

“Ishmael in Rabbinic Literature: From Classical Midrash to Jewish-Muslim Polemics,” Washington University in St. Louis, January 23, 2003; and Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, February 5, 2002.

“Historiography and Polemic: Yosef Sambari’s Depiction of Early Islam,” Association for Jewish Studies, 34th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, December 15-17, 2002.

“Historiographie, Exegese und Polemik: Das Islambild eines jüdischen Chronisten aus Kairo,” Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany, June 18, 2002.

“Die Bibel in der jüdisch-muslimischen Polemik des Mittelalters,” Free University of Berlin, Germany, May 8, 2002.

“Biblical Allusions as Polemic in Yosef Sambari’s Depiction of Early Islam,” Eighth Annual Gruss Colloquium in Judaic Studies: Jewish Biblical Interpretation in Comparative Context, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, April 29 – May 1, 2002.

 “Spanish Jewish Responses to Muslim Bible Criticism: Shlomo ibn Adret of Barcelona and Shim‘on ben Semah Duran,” Washington University in St. Louis, March 19, 2002; and Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, November 21, 2001.

“Eliayyahu Capsali: A Venetian View of the Ottomans” (in Hebrew), 13th World Congress for Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, August 12-16, 2001.

 “Yosef ha-Kohen, Paolo Giovio and Sixteenth-Century Historiography,” International Conference on Jewish Scholarship and Philosophy in the Renaissance, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany, September 17-19, 2000.

Benjamin of Tudela, Massa'ot, Freiburg print by ha-Zifroni, 1582/1583

Credit: Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania
 
For further information on the depicted page, visit my online commentary.
 

Email: mjacobs [At] wustl [DOT] edu

Catalan Atlas, attributed to Abraham Cresques (1325-1387); https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caravane_Marco_Polo.jpg