CJS201 Lecture March 26.docx

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Department
Center for Jewish Studies
Course
CJS201H1
Professor
kopsetin/most/sternsish/newman
Semester
Spring

Description
CJS201H Lecture th March 26 /2014 • Jewish people (small % of population) has a large interest in and impact on American popular culture o Especially 2  generation Jews th o Provided mass culture to the majority of Americans during the 20  century (music, Broadway,  Hollywood, etc.) • What was it about Judaism and American liberalism to lead to this relationship? • What did theatre have to do with this success? • Concept of classical progressivism (enlightenment, liberalism, ideas about the individual freedom,  democracy, etc.) o Typically protestant values o Many of them embraced this in theatre… transforming themselves from one type of person to another  o The performance of a role is a theatrical experience  o When one is performing a role (American or Jewish American vs. Russian Jew)  This kind of acting is to be part of the experience of the role   Thithmade it easier for them to acculturate to America, and created popular culture for American  20  century itself • They invented new cultures of popular culture (things that didn’t exist until the Jews started  to write them) • Such as a backstage musical (showboat) o Creates a hybrid of Jewish and American culture and creates something that caters to both equally  o Key features  Reconstructed the theater as a sacred space (a place for religious expression)  These works of popular culture stress the external self over the internal self  • In Judaism the act comes first, and meaning often follows   Identity­ historical • Work
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