Isabelle Levy

Columbia University

Immanuel of Rome as a translational Jewish writer of medieval Italy

2017-2018: Spring

Isabelle Levy is a lecturer at the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies/Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. She studies the relationships among the Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and Spanish literary traditions of the medieval Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on how medieval Jewish literature serves as both a mediator and innovator across these hybrid environs. She is currently researching the cultural, literary and theological implications of the Hebrew and Italian compositions of Immanuel of Rome, a Jewish contemporary of Dante. This work forms part of the book manuscript she is completing titled 'Prose or Verse? Jewish Erotic Literature of the Medieval Mediterranean'. She has articles in A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula, Volume II (“Hybridity through Poetry: Sefer ha-meshalim and the Status of Poetry in Medieval Iberia”) and in La corónica (“Romance Literature in Hebrew Language with an Arabic Twist: The First Story of Jacob ben El‘azar’s Sefer ha-meshalim”). Levy completed a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia (2005), after which she conducted research in Spain on the Judeo-Spanish ballad tradition as a Fulbright fellow. She earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard (2014) and has held positions as Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia (2015-2016), Medieval Fellow at Fordham University (2014-2015), and the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia (2016-2017).