On October 23, the Institute will host Kenneth Stow, Emeritus Professor of Jewish History at the University of Haifa. Professor Stow will discuss his latest book, Anna and Tranquillo. Catholic Anxiety and Jewish Protest in the Age of Revolutions. The book examines the case of a Jewish young woman, Anna del Monte, who “after being seized by the papal police in Rome in May 1749, kept a diary detailing her captors’ efforts over the next thirteen days to force her conversion to Catholicism. Anna’s powerful chronicle of her ordeal at the hands of authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, originally circulated by her brother Tranquillo in 1793, receives its first English-language translation along with an insightful interpretation by Kenneth Stow of the incident’s legal and historical significance. Stow’s analysis of Anna’s dramatic story of prejudice, injustice, resistance, and survival during her two-week imprisonment in the Roman House of Converts—and her brother’s later efforts to protest state-sanctioned, religion-based abuses—provides a detailed view of the separate forces on either side of the struggle between religious and civil law in the years just prior to the massive political and social upheavals in America and Europe”.
Kenneth Stow is the author of multiple books and articles, including Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century and Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe and founding editor of the journal Jewish History. He is currently emeritus professor at the University of Haifa, Israel.