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BZBI Presents: Joshua Teplitsky on the 18th Century plague in Prague
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BZBI Presents: Joshua Teplitsky on the 18th Century plague in Prague

March 4 2021, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

For the past few years, historian Joshua Teplitsky has been collecting materials to write a history of an early 18th century outbreak of plague in Prague, focusing on the city’s large Jewish population. Suddenly, he found himself writing in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak – a “surreal” experience as he focused on reconstructing life under the shadow of death, and “the emotional foreboding that precedes the crest of an epidemic.”

This lecture examines pressures on Jews at the time of the plague, including health policy, economic pressure, and questions of compliance vis-a-vis the state and social norms — issues that are exceedingly relevant today.


Joshua Teplitsky is a former Katz Center fellow and associate professor in the Department of History at Stony Brook University (SUNY), where he researches and teaches about Jewish life in Central Europe in the early modern period.

His book, Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library was published in 2019 and was named the winner of the Salo Baron Prize of the AAJR for best first book in Jewish Studies in 2019, the 2020 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. He has been interviewed for his research on epidemics and Jewish life in Times Higher Education, Jewish Action Magazine, and Time Magazine.


This part of a series featuring current and past fellows at the The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania—commonly called the Katz Center—a postdoctoral research center devoted to the study of Jewish history and civilization.

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