The John H. Elliott Membership at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) is awarded
Daniel Bernardo Hershenzon earned his BA in History and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University and his PhD in History at the University of Michigan. Before joining the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Connecticut University as associate profesor he was visiting scholar NYU and Columbia University.
His research focuses on early modern Spain and its links to the Mediterranean, the relations between the Spanish Monarchy, Morocco, and Ottoman Algiers, slavery and captivity, religion and violence, material culture, and Jewish history. His first book, The Captive Sea: Slavery, Communication, and Commerce in Early Modern Spain and the Mediterranean (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), explores the entangled histories of enslaved Christians and Muslims, arguing that piracy, captivity, and redemption shaped the Mediterranean as an integrated space, socially, culturally, and economically.
At the Institute for Advanced Study, Hershenzon will be working on a new book project that studies the circulation of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian religious objects—Qurans and bibles, prayer shawls, crosses, images of Christ and the Virgin Mary, and relics—in the early modern Mediterranean. This mobility was largely a byproduct of piracy to which 2 to 3 million persons from all sides fell fate between 1500 and 1800 and which intertwined Spain, Italy, Morocco, and Ottoman Algiers. Reconstructing objects’ trajectories and their involvement in human trafficking sheds new light on the experience of captivity and the practice of redemption, as wells as explains religious boundary markers within and among confessions.