Flora Cassen

University of Vermont

The Jews of Italy and Spanish imperial power

2010-2011: Fall

Alexander Bodini Research Fellow in Culture and Religion

Flora Cassen grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. She received her BA in Law and History from the Free University of Brussels, her MA in Comparative History from Brandeis University, and her PhD in History and Judaic Studies from New York University in 2007. At the Italian Academy, she will complete her book manuscript "Identity or Control: the Jewish badge in Renaissance Italy." Based on her doctoral research, this book studies the discriminatory marks, typically a yellow hat or a yellow badge, that the Jews were compelled to wear in fifteenth and sixteenth century Italy. Her work contributes to understanding the social life of the Jews in Renaissance Italy, the relations they had with secular or religious authorities, and how clothing can be used to regulate society. Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Belgian Academy of Rome, the Medieval Academy of America, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Vidal Sassoon Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism. In 2011 she will start working as an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.