The PI (Principal Investigator) will work together with one temporary research fellow, who will edit a repertory of the Sephardic theatrical dramas written or published in Italy; the investigations will be archival-kind, while the analysis of texts will be carried out with philological and ecdotic tools. The PI and the fellow will count on the collaboration of one professors, permanently employed by the host institution, selected for the quality of their academic track record and the experience in this particular scientific field.
The ESTHER project will focus on the study of the Sephardic theatre in Italy, from its origins to the present. When the Ladino communities arrived in our country after the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, they integrated themselves with the other Jewish communities, but they've been able to preserve their linguistic, religious and cultural specificity till now, despite the assimilating movements and the historial and cyclical persecutions. While the Sephardic poetic and narrative production is well known, in Italy there is a lack of a systematic and complete study of the dramatic production, a genre surely loved and attended by the Sephardic public (the very Purim spiel roots in the XVth-century-Italian Carnival, mixing religious and profane elements).
The ESTHER project intends to locate and create a corpus of Sephardic theatre, made of those works written in Ladino, or by a Sephardi, or oriented to a Sephardic public. This corpus will be studied dividing it into three categories, i.e. religious dramas, profane dramas and dramas with specific Sephardic themes; after that, the dramas will be grouped into original works, adaptations and translations. In addition to the direct sources (the dramas), the extra-textual materials (such as legal documents, private agreements, etc.), useful to depict the socio-cultural context in which this theatre was created, will be collected as well. The investigations will be archival-kind, while the analysis of texts will be carried out with philological and ecdotic tools. The textual and complementary materials collected during the survey phase will merge into a database that will be the nucleus of the internet page created in order to back up the ESTHER project up and to become a preferred access point for Sephardic studies, both for Italy and foreign countries. The website will not be only a box, but a launch window with improving and evolving information.
ESTHER would like to be not only a groundbreaking project due to its theme, but also an agent of integration, as well as of social and cultural collaboration.
SIR (Scientific Independence of young Researchers) Programme 2014, code RBSI14IDE8
The Research Team
Lucia Roditi Forneron
Claudio Castro Filho
Lídia Carol Geronés
Sílvia Planas Marcé