Igor De Souza
Igor De Souza studies the history of Jewish civilization: texts, cultures, communities. His primary theoretical concern is the notion of transmission, reception, and transformation—how are ideas transmitted across centuries and contexts? What is gained and what is lost in that process? How is the notion of identity constructed and adapted in light of changing historical events? To that end, he is interested in how intellectual and cultural boundaries, as well as the boundaries of canon, can influence the transmission of ideas.
To ground these theoretical questions, his work deals with two broad fields of inquiry. One is medieval Jewish philosophy, with a focus on the literary aspects of philosophical writing. His forthcoming book, Rewriting Maimonides: Early Commentaries on the Guide of the Perplexed, examines fundamental tensions and exegetical methods in six philosophical commentaries. A second field of interest is the transatlantic Jewish diaspora and Jewish communities of the colonial Americas. his next book will examine the formation and transmission of a Portuguese-Jewish diasporic identity in the early modern transatlantic, and its aftereffects in contemporary Portugal and Brazil.