New Mexico History Museum

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition and New World Identities Symposium

August 22, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 22, 2016 (Santa Fe, NM): The New Mexico History Museum will bring together historians, anthropologists, art historians, musicians and genealogists for a free symposium to explore the history of Sephardic Jews, conversos, and crypto-Jews’ 600-year process of identity transformation. Coinciding with the ongoing exhibition Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities at the New Mexico History Museum, this Symposium delves deeper into Spanish Judaism from the Golden Age of Spain to Mexico and New Mexico. The symposium will be held at the New Mexico History Museum on September 9th from 8:30am to 4pm and September 10th from 9am to 4pm.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, Spain flowered into a golden age, as Muslim, Jewish and Catholic peoples achieved new heights in science, philosophy and the arts. Four centuries later, the vaunted triculturalism had deteriorated into dissent, segregation and riots forcing Jews to either leave the country or convert to Catholicism.

For the first time, a major institution tells the comprehensive story of how Spain’s Jewry found a tenuous foothold in North America. Despite continued persecution, its people persisted—sometimes as upright Catholic conversos, sometimes as self-identifying "crypto-Jews." Emblems of that struggle for cultural identity appear even today: A Star of David carved into a tombstone in a Catholic cemetery; oral histories of tangled roots; Hispanic villages where genetic clusters speak to Jewish lineage

Fractured Faiths reunites Spanish artifacts with their New World counterparts for the first time to reveal the history of the Spanish Sephardim—the stalwarts, the converts and the hidden Jews—and their long heritage within the Americas. A global story that played out on New Mexico soil, this monumental exhibit details one of history’s most compelling chronicles of human tenacity and the power of cultural identity.

The first day of the symposium on Friday, September 9th at 8:30am will kick off with a discussion by David Graizbord of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona with his talk Iberian Identity Crises and Their Reverberations: 1391 and Beyond. Gretchen Starr-LeBeau of Principia College in Illinois will lead a talk on Violence, Revitalization, Expulsion: Jewish Life in Late-Medieval Iberia. John F. Chuchiak IV of Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri will lead a discussion on Water and Fire: The Inquisition in New Spain and the Prosecution and Persecution of Accused Judaizers, 1570-1821. Emmanuel Ortega of University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada will discuss The Reception of Autos-de-Fe in 18th-Century San Bartolome Otzolotepec: the Contextual Graphics of a Hegemonic Spectacle. Paul Duncan, a Medical Oncologist from the Hematology Oncology Associates of New Mexico will lead a discussion on A Genetic Link: Identifying a Sephardic Fingerprint.

On the second day of the symposium on Saturday, September 10th starting at 9am, Independent scholar José Esquibel will lead a talk entitled Out from the Shadow of Suspicion: The Identity of Juan de Oñate’s Jewish-Converso Lineage. Frances Levine of the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis Missouri will discuss Doña Teresa’s World: An Intimate View into the Palace. Ron Duncan Hart, a Research Associate at the Latin American & Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico, will discuss The Twentieth Century Movement of Reclaiming Jewish Identity. Ofer Ben-Amots from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Debra Ayers a Recitalist from Santa Fe, New Mexico will lead a lecture and recital on Ladino (Judeo-Spanish language) Romanceros, Kantas, and Coplas.

What: Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, the Inquisition and New World Identities Symposium
When: Friday, September 9, 2016, 8:30am-4pm and Saturday, September 10, 2016 9am-4pm
Where: New Mexico History Museum Auditorium, 113 Lincoln Avenue
Cost: FREE

Phone number for publication: 505-476-5082

The ongoing exhibition Fractured Faiths runs through December 31, 2016 at the New Mexico History Museum on 113 Lincoln Avenue in downtown Santa Fe.

Media contact:
Jennifer Padilla

The New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is part of a campus that includes the Palace of the Governors, a National Treasure and the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States; the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library; the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives; the Press at the Palace of the Governors; and the Native American Artisans Program. A division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, its exhibitions and programs are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.


Related Photos

Register of blasphemers
Tiles from El Tránsito
Sephardic Torah Scroll
Stucco fragment for El Tránsito
Locket with Inquisition emblem
Libro Verde de Aragón
Letter of nobility granted to Juan Berdugo
Letter of nobility granted to Juan Berdugo
David and the Priest Ahimelech
Decree of Expulsion of the Jews
The Five Commandments in Hebrew Letters
Carvajal Family Inquisition records
A Hearing Before the Inquisition
Painting with the Inquisition Emblem
Ejecutoria de hidalguia
Purim Grogger
Purim Grogger
Purim Grogger
Jar with Four Handles
Hanukkah Lamp

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