Stefanie B. Siegmund
Women's League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies
Department: Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Studies , Jewish Gender and Women's Studies , Jewish History
Phone: (212) 280-6171
Building Room: Brush 612
Office Hours: By Appointment
BA, Amherst College; MA and PhD, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Dr. Stefanie B. Siegmund—the first person to hold the Women’s League Chair in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies at JTS—is associate professor of History and director of the Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies program at JTS. She also serves as the area coordinator for the program in Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Studies. A specialist in the history of the Jewish family and the Jews of the early modern Italian states, her current research focuses on the subject of conversion of Jews to Catholicism in 16th-century Italy. Her work engages questions concerning gender and its role in creating Jewish custom, culture, and law, as well as the history and status of Jewish women.
Dr. Siegmund was a professor in the Department of History and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for 10 years prior to her appointment at JTS. Earlier, she was the Samuel Melton Legislative Professor in Jewish Studies and an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida.
Dr. Siegmund’s book The Medici State and the Ghetto of Florence: The Construction of an Early Modern Jewish Community (Stanford University Press, 2006) received the American Historical Association’s 2006 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, the most prestigious prize awarded in the United States for a book on European history. She was also awarded the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize of the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the same publication.
Dr. Siegmund’s current teaching and research interests include early modern Jewish history; Italian Jewry; the history of marriage; the Catholic Reformation and religious conversion in early modern Italy; the history of Jewish women, and premodern Jewish and Christian marital and inheritance strategies. She sits on the editorial board of the journal Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. A new teaching interest, related to current research, is the history of Jewish symbols.
Dr. Siegmund has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, received a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. A graduate of JTS, where she received a master’s degree in Judaic Studies and a doctoral degree in Jewish History, both with distinction, Dr. Siegmund is also a summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, with a bachelor’s degree in History.
A third-generation New Yorker, Dr. Siegmund lives in New York City with her partner and their two children.
- The Medici State and the Ghetto of Florence: The Construction of an Early Modern Jewish Community. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.
- “The Ghetto of Florence and the Spatial Organization of an Early Modern Catholic State.” In Borders and Boundaries in and around Dutch Jewish History, edited by J. Frishman, D. J. Wertheim, I. De Haan, and J. Cahen, 21–34. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011.
- “Communal leaders (rashei qahal) and the representation of medieval and early modern European Jews as ‘communities.’ ” In Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality, edited by Jack Wertheimer. New York: JTS Press, 2004.
- “Gendered Self-Government in Early Modern Jewish History: The Florentine Ghetto and Beyond.” In Gendering the Jewish Past, edited by Marc Lee Raphael. Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, 2002.
- “Division of the Dowry on the Death of the Daughter: An Instance in the Negotiation of Laws and Jewish Customs in Early Modern Tuscany.” Jewish History 16, no. 1 (Winter 2002).
Primary Sources in Translation, with Introductions
Dr. Siegmund is particularly interested in the history of the Jewish family and the Jews of the early modern Italian states. Her current research focuses on the subject of the conversion of Jews to Catholicism in 16th-century Italy.