Course: Jews, Race, and Performance

This course examines representations of Jewish American identity in theater, film, and television from early 20th century Yiddish theatre to the present, with a focus on issues of gender, racialization, and embodiment.  Course questions include: How does Jewish American identity and cultural production engage the politics of race, as well as class, gender, sexuality, and ability?  How does it complicate normative constructions of "whiteness"?  How is “Jewishness" performative, and how does Jewish performance produce and/or resist a cultural stereotype of “the Jew”?  Throughout, a particular attention will be paid the spectre of "the Jew" in this current historical moment in American politics and transnational contexts.