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Dr. Alessandro Grazi

Member of the academic staff, Department Abendländische Religionsgeschichte
Room: 03 305
Phone: +49 6131 39 39421
Fax: +49 6131 39 21050


Personal Details:

Born in Cento, Italy, in 1979. Since October 2018 Research Associate, Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz. 2016-2018 Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Amsterdam. 2015-2015 Italian Lecturer, Center for Foreign Languages, Justus Liebig University Giessen. 2012 PhD in the Humanities, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, with a dissertation titled "Patria ed Affetti. Jewish Identity and Risorgimento Nationalism in the Oeuvres of Samuel Luzzatto, Isaac Reggio, and David Levi". 2007-2008 Visiting Graduate Student, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 2005-2007 Research Master in Literary Studies (Highest Honors), University of Amsterdam, with specialization in Modern Jewish Cultural History. 1998-2004 Laurea in Preservation of the Cultural Heritage (Highest Honors), with specialization in Hebrew Paleography and Codicology, University of Bologna. 2000-2001 Overseas Student and Teaching Assistant, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, USA.


World Union of Jewish Studies (WUJS)
European Association of Jewish Studies (EAJS)
Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien
Fachverband Judaistik und Jüdische Studien in Deutschland
American Association of Italian Studies (AAIS)

Research Interests:

Modern Jewish Intellectual History
Modern Jewish Cultural History
Italian Jewish history and Culture
Jewish prayer books
Jewish printed books
Hebrew Palaeography and Codicology

Selected Publications:

A. Grazi, Sacralization as canonization: Negotiating Jewish prayer books in nineteenth-century Italy, in B. Gißbl – A. Hofmann, Multiple Sacralities: Rethinking Sacralizations in European History, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2023.
A. Grazi, Prophet of Renewal: David Levi, a Jewish Freemason and Saint-Simonian in nineteenth-century Italy, Leiden/Boston: Brill – Studies in Jewish History and Culture 73, 2022.
(Hg., mit R. Dagnino), Believers in the Nation - European religious minorities in the age of nationalism (1815–1914), Peeters, Leuven, 2017.
Diverging Jewish approaches to Italian nationalism and nation-building, in L.S. Lerner – J. Druker (Hg.), The New Italy and the Jews: From Massimo D’Azeglio to Primo Levi, in Annali d’italianistica 36 (2018).
M. Perani - A. Grazi, La ›scuola‹ dei copisti ebrei pugliesi (Otranto?) del sec. XI. Nuove scoperte, in Materia Giudaica XI/1-2 (2006), pp. 13–41.

Research projects:

"Minhag Italia": Negotiating Jewish modernity in the nineteenth century through the prism of Italian prayer books

The aim of this project is to carry out a digital and conceptual analysis of nineteenth-century Italian Jewish prayer books (Siddurim and Maḥzorim), in order to challenge the traditional narrative about some fundamental categories of Jewish modernity: the divide between Orthodoxy and Reform and the importance in modern Judaism of the differentiation among three of the most prominent Jewish groups in Europe: Sephardim, Ashkenazim, and Italkim.