Colbert Cairns to be featured in Judah Touro Lecture Series

Dr. Emily Colbert Cairns, assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, will speak at the Touro Synagogue this weekend in the inaugural program of the Judah Touro Lecture Series.

“Esther Queen of the Conversas” will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 16 at the synagogue, located at 72 Touro St. in Newport. Admission is $8 per person and each ticket may be used at a later date for a tour of the synagogue and adjacent visitors center.

Colbert Cairns’ research focuses on conversos and crypto-Jews in the early modern period in the Spanish-speaking world. In the lecture, she will explore the compelling story of Queen Esther as a heroine for Jewish people during the era of the Spanish Inquisition.

Reservations for the lecture are required. For more information, or to RSVP, call (401) 847-4794 Ext. 207 or email

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