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The queenship of the first European Renaissance queen regnant never ceases to fascinate. Was she a saint or a bigoted zealot? A pious wife or the one wearing the pants? Was she ultimately responsible for genocide? A case has been made to canonize her. Does she deserve to be called Saint Isabel? As different groups from fascists to feminists continue to fight over Isabel as cultural capital, we ask which (if any) of these recyclings are legitimate or appropriate. Or has this figure taken on a life of her own?

Contributors to this volume: Roger Boase, David A. Boruchoff, John Edwards, Emily Francomano, Edward Friedman, Cristina Guardiola-Griffiths, Michelle Hamilton, Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Hilaire Kallendorf, William D. Phillips, Jr., Nuria Silleras-Fernandez, Caroline Travalia, and Jessica Weiss.
Portrayals of Judith, Esther and the Shulamite in Early Twentieth-Century Jewish Art
Although recently more studies have been devoted to the representations of Biblical heroines in modern European art, less is known about the contribution to the portrayals of Biblical women by modern Jewish artists. This monograph explores why and how heroines of the Scripture: Judith, Esther and the Shulamite received a particular meaning for acculturated Jewish artists originating from the Polish lands in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century. It convincingly proves that artworks by Maurycy Gottlieb, Wilhem Wachtel, Ephraim Moses Lilien, Maurycy Minkowski, Samuel Hirszenberg and Boris Schatz significantly differed from renderings of contemporary non-Jewish artists, adopting a “Jewish perspective”, creating complex and psychological portrayals of the heroines inspired by Jewish literature and as well as by historical and cultural phenomena of Jewish revival and the cultural Zionism movement.
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A legend that captures the imagination of audiences and shapes representations of the Holocaust is that in Nazi concentration camps Jewish musicians were forced to play a Tango of Death as men, women and children made their way to the gas chambers. This book traces the origins of this legend to a little known concentration camp in Ukraine where musicians were forced to perform a Jewish tango at executions before they themselves were murdered. By reconstructing the creation of this legend, the book shows how the actual history is hidden, distorted, or even lost altogether.
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The main contribution of this book is that it tries to determine how the Jews answered the challenges of Roman society. Thus, the book presents a refreshing approach to the nature of the Roman attitude toward Judaism and the Jews. In addition, it provides the first detailed examination of the demography and geography of the Jewish communities in Roman Italy. The book also offers a new look at the legal standing of the Jewish communitarian organization. Last but not least, this study also addresses the various facets of the culture of the Jews living in Roman Italy.