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[VIRTUAL] "Better Widowed than Married": Conversa Women in Early Modern Europe - Peak to Peak Webinar

Date: May 24, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

With Professor Rebecca Wartell at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The mass forced conversion of Spanish and Portuguese Jews before 1492 reshaped Jewish family life in the early modern period. In this webinar, Professor Rebecca Wartell will explore this transformation, mining discussions of marriage and marital status in legal and popular Jewish literature to recover the neglected experiences and voices of Jewish and conversa women —individuals and their descendants who had been forcibly baptized into the Catholic Church. Professor Wartell will devote particular attention to how husbands – lost at war or sea or with fates unknown – left a disproportionate number of widows in early modern Europe. Jewish and conversa women’s lives were often defined by their status as widows or
agunot (“chained women”) whose social and economic mobility was, at times, marked with more autonomy than their married counterparts.

Rebecca Wartell researches Sephardic Jews in the early modern period, with a particular interest in issues of refugees and migration after the Spanish Expulsion. She is interested in the economic and social dynamics between established Jewish communities, religious authority, and exiles.

Monday, May 24 | 7 - 8:00 pm | FREE