Tijana Krstic is a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire and Associate Professor at the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University in Budapest. She is interested in social, cultural and religious history. Her first book explored how various Ottoman Muslim and Christian authors narrated the phenomenon of conversion to Islam in the empire’s formative period, between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. Subsequently, in several articles she turned towards the early modern Mediterranean to study the experiences of Morisco refugees to the Ottoman Empire. Currently, she is the Primary Investigator on the project entitled “The Fashioning of a Sunni Orthodoxy and the Entangled Histories of Connfession Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-17th Centuries” (OTTOCONFESSION), which is funded by the European Research Council’s Consolidator Grant, 2015-2020.
David M. Bunis is professor of Jewish Languages and Literatures at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. As the world’s leading expert of Judeo-Spanish linguistics, his research, especially Judezmo: An Introduction to the Language of the Ottoman Sephardim (1999), is cited widely across the fields of Judeo-Romance Literature, the Sociology of Language, and Jewish History. Since the 1980s he has produced eight book-length works and over sixty articles relating to Judeo-Spanish, Yiddish, and other facets of Jewish linguistics. Most recently he has published “Echoes of Judezmo in Syria” (2016), “The Lexicography of Sephardic Judaism” (2016), and “The Judeo-Arabic Roots of the Ladino Bible Translation Tradition” (2016).
Guillaume Calafat is Assistant Professor of Early Modern History at Paris I-Sorbonne. In 2017-18, he is a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton. He is a scholar of early modern Mediterranean trade, piracy, diplomacy, and law. His forthcoming book is titled Une mer jalousie: Juridictions maritimes, ports francs et régulation du commerce en Méditerranée (1590-1740).
Eric Dursteler is Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Brigham Young University. He is a scholar of group identity, gender, and the sociolinguistics of the early modern Mediterranean. His research focuses specifically on the social history of the Venetian Republic and the trans-imperial identities of its subjects within the Ottoman Empire– the core aspects of which appeared in his monograph Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (2006).
Valeria López Fadul is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Wesleyan University this summer. A Yale BA and a recent doctoral graduate of Princeton, she is completing a book titled Languages, Knowledge, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1492–1650. This study focuses on the intersection of imperialism and the philosophy of language. It reconstructs the beliefs and practices with which scholars, missionaries, and crown officials confronted the challenges of governing a vast, multilingual, and transoceanic empire.
Claire Gilbert is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Saint Louis University. Her current project centers on the politics of language in the Iberian Peninsula and the Western Mediterranean, with a specific focus on the status and usage of the Arabic language in the Spanish Empire between the late fifteenth through the mid-seventeenth centuries. Gilbert’s research has culminated most recently in “The Circulation of Foreign News and the Construction of Imperial Ideals: The Spanish Translators of Ahmad al-Mansur” (2015) and “Transmission, Translation, Legitimacy and Control: The Activities of a Multilingual Scribe in Morisco Granada” (2014).
Laura Minervini is Professor of Romance Philology and Linguistics at the University of Naples, Italy, and foreign correspondent of the Real Academia Española. Her research centers on the historical linguistics of the late medieval and early modern Mediterranean. She has published widely in the field of Judeo-Romance Languages and Literature, most recently with the book Las Coplas de Yosef: entre la Biblia y el Midrash en la poesía judeoespañola, co-authored with Luis Girón-Negrón. Her work encompasses several other languages of the Mediterranean as well, including lingua franca, medieval French, and Catalan. She is currently researching the forms of French used in the Levant and in Cyprus during the Crusades as well as the usage of Italian within the territories of the Ottoman Empire throughout the early modern period.
Jonathan Ray is the Samuel Eig Professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University. His prior posts include the Hilda Blaustein Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Yale University (2003-2005) as well as the Maurice Amado Assistant Professorship in Sephardic Studies at UCLA (2005-2006). He is one of only a handful of scholars in the United States that focuses on the social history of the Sephardic diaspora in the early modern period. His book After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry was a path-breaking contribution to the field– it was the first ever to explore the socio-cultural development of the diaspora during the sixteenth-century.
Ryan Szpiech is Associate Professor in the Departments of Romance Languages and Literatures and Judaic Studies and an affiliate of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a specialist of medieval Iberian cultures and literature, with a special focus on polemical writing (religious disputations and conflicts) and translation (of languages, alphabets, styles, beliefs, identities, and ideas) as elements defining the relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Among his publications is the award-winning book Conversion and Narrative: Reading and Religious Authority in Medieval Polemic (2012).