The Venice Ghetto ColLABoration

Our Mission Statement

The Venice Ghetto Col-lab-oration

…is an interdisciplinary and mutually supportive working group of humanities scholars interested in a set of shared questions. Individually and as a group, we develop projects that examine both the specificity of the Venice Ghetto and the symbolic power of ghettos more generally. Our scholarship investigates the history, conditions, physical space, and lived experience of the Venice Ghetto, as well as broader questions about the legacy of the ghetto, how and why the ghetto became a paradigm, and how comparisons have been drawn between compulsory, segregated, and enclosed spaces in discourse, literature, and academic research.

Underlying this work is a desire to re-orient our scholarship towards its spatial and historical origins. The Col-lab-oration was formed after the group visited the Venice Ghetto in the summer of 2016, and found that the experience of walking the physical space added to the empathy and explanatory power of our research and writing. To this end, we encourage and support the creation of digital projects that help recreate the space, views, and movement of the historical, literary, and contemporary “ghetto” spaces that we study.

Below are images from the Venice Ghetto that reflect absence – the missing gate of the ghetto, the indentation where the mezzuzah used to hang. Resistant to the idea that the space of the ghetto is “empty” – a static museum site – we instead use it as a launching point for creative engagement. We conceive of the Venice Ghetto as global metaphor, and as a “memory-space that travels.”