Research groups

ESTHER Enquiry on Sephardic Theatrical Representation

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

Principal Investigator
Paola Bellomi


Paola Bellomi

Andrea Zinato

Silvia Monti

Ilaria Briata

Shai Cohen


Lucia Roditi Forneron

Jacobo Kaufmann

Erica Baricci

Davide Aliberti

Claudio Castro Filho

Lídia Carol Geronés

Sílvia Planas Marcé
Silvia Monti
Research Assistants
Andrea Zinato
Full Professor
External components
Paola Bellomi
Università degli Studi di Siena
Shai Cohen
Universidad de Granada
Ilaria Briata
Universität Hamburg
Topic Research area
Sephardic and Conversos Literature Letterature iberiche e ispano-americane
Romanic languages: Spanish
Letteratura Spagnola del Siglo de Oro Letterature iberiche e ispano-americane
Romanic languages: Spanish
Medieval Spanish Literature Letterature iberiche e ispano-americane
Rapporti tra Italia e Spagna nel Rinascimento Letterature iberiche e ispano-americane
Spanish Critical Theory & Poetics
Title Managers Sponsors Starting date Duration (months)
ESTHER - Enquiry on Sephardic Theatrical Representation (SIR 2014, RBSI14IDE8) Paola Bellomi MIUR Sep 23, 2015 48


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