Stefanie B. Siegmund

 Stefanie B. Siegmund
Address3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Associate Professor of Jewish History, Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Dr. Stefanie B. Siegmund, who is the first person to hold the Women’s League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies, is associate professor of History and associate chair of the program in Jewish Women’s Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary. A specialist in the history of the Jewish family and the Jews of the early modern Italian states, her current research focuses on the subject of conversion of Jews to Catholicism in sixteenth-century Italy. Deeply involved with questions concerning gender and its role in creating Jewish custom, culture, and law, and the history and status of Jewish women, Dr. Siegmund is currently teaching a course on the pre-modern history of Jewish women and in 2009-2010 will be offering courses on the history of Jewish marriage called “Contracts and Commitments”, a course on “The Place of the Jews in Early Mondern World”, and a seminary on gender studies.

Dr. Siegmund was a professor in the Department of History and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for ten years prior to her appointment at JTS. Earlier, she was the Samuel Melton Legislative Professor in Jewish Studies and an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida.
Dr. Siegmund is the author of The Medici State and the Ghetto of Florence: The Construction of an Early Modern Jewish Community (Stanford University Press, 2006) and winner of the American Historical Association’s 2006 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, the most prestigious prize awarded in the United States for a book on European history. She was also awarded the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize of the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the same publication. Her published articles include “Communal leaders (rashei qahal) and the representation of medieval and early modern European Jews as ‘communities’” (Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality, Jack Wertheimer, ed. JTS Press, 2004); “Gendered Self-Government in Early Modern Jewish History: The Florentine Ghetto and Beyond” (Gendering the Jewish Past, Marc Lee Raphael, ed. The College of William and Mary, 2002); and “Division of the Dowry on the Death of the Daughter: An Instance in the Negotiation of Laws and Jewish Customs in Early Modern Tuscany (Jewish History, vol. 16, no. 1. Winter 2002).
Dr. Siegmund’s current teaching and research interests include early modern Jewish history; borders and boundaries in early modern Europe; Italian Jewry; the history of Jewish-Christian relations; the Catholic Reformation and religious conversion in early modern Italy; the history of Jewish women; and premodern Jewish and Christian marital and inheritance strategies.

Dr. Siegmund has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, received a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. A graduate of JTS, where she received a master’s degree in Judaic Studies and a doctoral degree in Jewish History, both with distinction, she received her bachelor’s degree in History, summa cum laude, from Amherst College.

A third-generation New Yorker, Dr. Siegmund lives in the city with her partner, Karen, and their two children, Daniel and Eli.

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