Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Friday Workshop: James W. Nelson Novoa

September 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm



Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Italian Peninsula was a centre of choice for descendants of Jews converted to Christianity called conversos or New Christians. They used a variety of means to solidify their claims to be bona fide Christians in the face of Italian authorities, their peers and fellow Portuguese living there. Several examples in Rome and Tuscany will be provided of how Portuguese New Christians in Italy used art, cultural patronage and material culture as a means of establishing legitimacy within a society that tended to be suspicious about the conversos‘ true religious allegiances.


James W. Nelson Novoa is currently Assistant Professor of Spanish and Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Ottawa.

He completed his PhD in Spanish language and literature from the University of Valencia (Spain) in 2003. He has held fellowships from the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (2004-2005) and the Fundação para a Ciência and Technology of Portugal (2005-2008 and 2010-2014). Furthermore, from October 2014 to December 2015 he was a visiting researcher in the European Research Council project “A Diaspora in Transition—Cultural and Religious Changes in Western Sephardic Communities in the Early Modern Period,” directed by Professor Yosef Kaplan through the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He is the author of Being the Nação in the Eternal City: New Christian Lives in Sixteenth Century Rome, Baywolf Press, Peterborough, 2014, as well as numerous articles in international journals and chapters in books.

His areas of interest range from the Iberian presence in Early Modern Italy, the Portuguese New Christian diaspora in Italy, cultural ties between the Italian and Iberian peninsulas in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Jewish and Christian cultural and social relations in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and religious identity in the Early Modern Period.


September 30, 2016
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Northrop Frye, Room 205
73 Queen's Park Crescent East
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7 Canada
+ Google Map