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Judaic Studies Professor to Present Cone Lecture at UW March 28

March 22, 2017
head portrait of a man
Irven Resnick

Medieval laws governing Jewish dress and the “Jews’ badge” will be discussed during the 20th annual Cone Family Distinguished Lecture in History Tuesday, March 28, at the University of Wyoming.

Irven Resnick, a distinguished scholar in Judaic studies, will present “The Clothes Make the Man: The Jews’ Badge and Sexual Impurity” at 3 p.m. in Room 310 of the Classroom Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Resnick’s lecture will focus on medieval laws that governed how the Jewish community was forced to dress to separate members from the rest of the community and to prevent intermarriage between Jews and Christians. He will discuss the “Jews’ badge,” a medieval invention that also was part of the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany.

“Dr. Resnick’s lecture on medieval anti-Semitism is especially timely in light of recent anti-Semitic events in the news involving the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats at Jewish community centers,” says Barbara Logan, an associate lecturer in the UW Department of History. “Many current anti-Semitic slanders have their origin in the Middle Ages.”

Resnick is the Chair of Excellence in Judaic Studies at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

He has been a Corresponding Fellow at the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan University (Israel) since 1996, and a senior associate at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (England) since 2003.

In 2006, he was elected a faculty associate at Oxford University’s Oriental Institute. For fall semester 2006, he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. Additionally, he is a contributing member to the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel).

The Cone Lecture is made possible by the generous support of Susan B. Horton Cone. A native of Newcastle and the daughter of a local physician, Cone graduated from UW as a history major in 1931. Throughout her adult life, she spent time in Jackson Hole, Louisiana and California. But, home to Cone was always Newcastle, and the university was never far from her thoughts.

In her later years, Cone expressed a concern that our increasingly technological society was losing sight of the value of the arts and humanities. Seeking to encourage discussion in the humanities, Cone endowed this lecture series in honor of her family. 

For more information about the Cone Lecture, call Logan at (307) 766-6057 or email

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