The 145th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on WEDNESDAY, February 24, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS HAPPENING ON A WEDNESDAY EVENING!

Sara Lipton on her recent book, Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography.

In this talk I will present an overview of my recent book, Dark Mirror, the first comprehensive study of changing depictions of Jews in medieval art.  I start with the birth of the iconographically identifiable Jew in the eleventh century, and then trace the elaboration of a host of new signs and visual stereotypes over the next four hundred years.  I close by offering a detailed analysis of a remarkable set of manuscripts known as the Moralized Bibles.  Made for the royal French court around 1225, these are essentially religious comic books, digesting the narratives and lessons of the Bible into lavish — and often virulently anti-Jewish — imagery.  My ultimate goal is not only to help clarify the evolution of medieval anti-Judaism, but also to illuminate the powerful role played by art in the shaping of social attitudes.

Sara Lipton is Professor of History at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.  She is the author of Images of Intolerance: The Representation of Jews and Judaism in the Bible moralisée (University of California Press, 1999), which won the Medieval Academy of America’s John Nicholas Brown Prize; Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2014), which was recently awarded the Jordan Schnitzer Award by the Association for Jewish Studies, as well as numerous articles on medieval religion and culture. The recipient of fellowships from Oxford University, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Jewish Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, and The Huffington Post.

Fig. 5 Hooded student

Bible moralisée, Paris, ca. 1225.  (ÖNB, cod. 2554, fol. 50vd).