Jewish Identity and Performance

Jewish Identity and Performance in the U.S. (2010)

This course explores Jewish identity and performance in the 20th and 21st century United States. We begin with an historical overview of Jews and Jewish identities in the U.S., including the very question, What does Jewishness mean? Is it ethnicity, race, or religion? Identity or culture? Belief or practice? We’ll also consider theories that understand Jewishness itself as a performance. From there, we’ll focus on Jewish American theatre artists, from the Yiddish-language theatre of the early 20th century, through playwrights who defined a certain American middle-class life in the mid-20th century, to contemporary performers and playwrights who navigate the complexity of Jewish American identity in a range of genres and tones.

[Download the full course syllabus as a PDF document].

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