CANTON -- The 2014 Rabbi Seymour Siegel Memorial Lecture at St. Lawrence University will be delivered by Julia Phillips Cohen, assistant professor of modern Jewish history at Vanderbilt University, on April 21.
The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Sykes Common Room. A dessert reception will follow.
The topic of Cohen’s talk is also the title of her recently published book, Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era (Oxford University Press, 2014), which focuses on the imperial loyalties and local identities of Ottoman Jews.
Cohen corrects the long-held belief that Jews were a protected group under the Ottoman Empire, arguing instead that Jewish leaders who promoted this vision were doing so in response to a series of reforms enacted by the 19th-century Ottoman state.
Siegel was a noted Conservative Jewish author and scholar.
His family donated his papers to St. Lawrence University’s Owen D. Young Library and created an endowment for an annual lecture on campus in his memory.