In the winter of 1873, Nissim Shamama, a wealthy Jew from Tunisia, died suddenly in his palazzo in Livorno, Italy. His passing initiated a fierce lawsuit over his large estate. Before Shamama’s riches could be disbursed among his aspiring heirs, Italian courts had to decide which law to apply to his estate—a matter that depended on his nationality. Was he an Italian citizen? A subject of the Bey of Tunis? Had he become stateless? Or was his Jewishness also his nationality? Tracing a decade-long legal battle involving Jews, Muslims, and Christians from both sides of the Mediterranean, in this talk, Jessica Marglin will offer a riveting history of citizenship across regional, cultural, and political borders.
Jessica Marglin is professor of Religion, Law, and History, and the Ruth Ziegler Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of Southern California. She earned her PhD from Princeton and her BA and MA from Harvard. Her research focuses on the history of Jews and Muslims in North Africa and the Mediterranean, with a particular emphasis on law.
All are welcome – this is a free event, but booking is required.