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The New School Continuing Education

The Art of the Kvetch: Jewish Humor as Secularism

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6:30 p.m.

The modern tradition of Jewish humor emerged from the same ideological ferment that produced Zionism, Liberal Judaism, Modern Orthodoxy, and a wide variety of secular forms of Jewish identity. To this day, Jewish humor reinforces the bond between Jews even as globalization has brought it to millions of non-Jews. Is this lively tradition the result of a seed of humor planted deep in Jewish textual traditions, or is Jewish humor an exercise in self- loathing by an insecure minority? Having transcended its Yiddish forms in American comedy (from Lenny Bruce to Larry David), is Jewish humor a way for Jews to be Jews in a genre at once particular and universally accessible?

Participants include:

Michael Wex, author of Just Say Nu: Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won’t Do) and Born to Kvetch; Noah Isenberg, author of Between Redemption and Doom: The Strains of German-Jewish Modernism and editor and translator of The Face of East European Jewry by Arnold Zweig; Jeffrey Israel, author of a dissertation on Jewish humor and politics; and Val Vinokur, author of The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Mandelstam, Babel, Levinas.

Presented by Jewish Studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and the Jewish Cultural Studies Program.

Location:

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang Building, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor (enter at 66 West 12th Street)

Admission:
Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

Contact Information:

For more information on Jewish Studies at Eugene Lang College, please see http://www.newschool.edu/lang/jewish-studies. For more information on Jewish Cultural Studies at NSGS, please see http://www.newschool.edu/jewishculture.



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