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Jewish Histories of the Modern Middle East: "The Shamama Case: Contesting Citizenship across the Modern Mediterranean"

Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 5:00pm

White Hall, 110
123 Central Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Jessica Marglin (USC) "The Shamama Case: Contesting Citizenship across the Modern Mediterranean"

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, The Shamama Case offers a riveting history of citizenship across regional, cultural, and political borders.

Get 30% off "The Shamama Case," (Princeton Press, 2022) with code P321 at

Jessica Marglin is professor of Religion, Law, and History, and the Ruth Ziegler Early Career 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.

Series sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and Department of Near Eastern Studies as part of the Jewish Histories of the Modern Middle East lecture series

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Near Eastern Studies, Jewish Studies Program


jwstcal, nescal, cascal

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Jessica Marglin

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