Colbert Cairns to discuss research on biblical queen Esther
Dr. Emily Colbert Cairns, assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, will discuss how the biblical figure of Queen Esther shaped the culture and identity of 16th-century Spain during a faculty presentation scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6.
“Queen Esther in the Tapestries of Early Modern Spain” will be held at 4 p.m. in the McKillop Library.
Esther was a Jewish queen and a heroine, yet she holds great meaning for post-expulsion Iberian Catholic society. The story from the Book of Esther is featured in a series of three Flemish tapestries that were donated to the Cathedral de la Seo in Zaragoza, Spain in 1520. They were hung as part of Holy Week celebrations on the Cathedral walls for the next 500 years and became part of the religious lives of all Zaragozan citizens.
Colbert Cairns will discuss how these tapestries reflect the contradictory ways that Esther could be both heroine and member of a persecuted minority.
A graduate of Hamilton College, Colbert Cairns received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of California Irvine. Her research focuses on conversos and crypto-Jews in the early modern period in the Spanish-speaking world.