The Jewish Ghetto and the Visual Imagination of Early Modern Venice
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- Author: Dana E. Katz, Reed College, Oregon
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Dana E. Katz examines the Jewish ghetto of Venice as a paradox of urban space. In 1516, the Senate established the ghetto on the periphery of the city and legislated nocturnal curfews to reduce the Jews' visibility in Venice. Katz argues that it was precisely this practice of marginalization that put the ghetto on display for Christian and Jewish eyes. According to her research, early modern Venetians grounded their conceptions of the ghetto in discourses of sight. Katz's unique approach demonstrates how Venice's Jewish ghetto engaged the sensory imagination of its inhabitants in complex and contradictory ways that both shaped urban space and reshaped Christian-Jewish relations.Read more
- Presents a new approach to the urban spaces of Venice by exploring the influence of the Jewish ghetto
- Situates the study of ghetto architecture in the context of the senses, particularly seeing and touching
- Offers a study of Venetian architecture that goes beyond the sumptuousness of Renaissance palaces
Reviews & endorsements
'In this original and beautifully illustrated book, Katz dissects the ghetto’s architecture and visual appearance to understand how space and sight structured Jewish life and Jewish-Christian relations in early modern Venice.' Flora Cassen, H-JudaicSee more reviews
'This book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the nature of ghettoization and Christian Jewish relations, with stimulating new visions of Venetian urban architecture, spatial relations, and social contexts. Beneficially, the author takes us beyond Venice with wider comparisons and contrasts, thus emphasizing Venetian particularity.' Christopher F. Black, Renaissance and Reformation
'Recently Jews and Christians celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Venetian ghetto. Tourists come to walk the streets, to see the synagogues, and to eat kosher food. The ghetto space is as much a creation of the Jews as it was of the Venetian authorities. Dana Katz’s The Jewish Ghetto and the Visual Imagination of Early Modern Venice will serve as an excellent guide to exploring the ghetto today.' Howard Tzvi Adelman, Renaissance Quarterly
'Katz’s insistence on the verticality of the ghetto reminds us to evaluate the full significance of the three-dimensionality of the early modern built environment, which may be mentally flattened by factors such as our familiarity with early modern cartography. More broadly, this study highlights the importance, complexity and porosity of enclosure in the urban context. Above all, it prompts us to reflect on how architecture can frame and direct sensory experience, and how sensory experience shaped social relations.' Alexandra Bamji, Renaissance Studies
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- Date Published: August 2017
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781316730843
- contains: 40 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Margins as laboratories of urban planning
2. Enclosures as topographies of vision
3. Windows as sites of visual disturbance
4. Walls as boundaries of the night
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