Dr Shelly Zer Zion “The Shtetl in the Eretz-Israeli Theatre of the 1930’s and the performance of ethnic Zionism”

28 January 2021. Web Forum with Dr Shelly Zer Zion
The Shtetl in the Eretz-Israeli Theatre of the 1930’s and the Performance of ethnic Zionism”

The Eastern European Jewish Shtetl was much more than a mere historical reality. Historians and literary scholars agree that „the Shtetl“ was a metaphoric trope of Jewish imagination, an autonomous space that celebrated an imagined Jewish microcosm. The metaphoric image of the Jewish shtetl migrated to the Eretz-Israeli culture and occupied the stages of the Hebrew theatre of the 1930’s. It became a shared fictional location that appeared in many artistic and cultural performative events. In this lecture Prof. Zer-Zion explores how the theatrical events that re-enacted the landscapes of the shtetl constructed it as a location of boundary work that conceptualized it as a landscape of Jewish past while negotiating it with the Eretz-Israeli reality and desired future. She focuses on three case-studies. In the first case-study she investigates the tension between peoplehood and the formation of cultural hegemony. On the second case-study she discusses the temporal tension between past and present. The third case-study focuses on the spatial tension between a net of locations that constitute Jewish identity vs. the centrality of Eretz-Israel.
In cooperation with the University of Vienna.

Welcome: Dr Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Center for Israel Studies Vienna

Moderator: Doz Dr Brigitte Dalinger, University of Vienna/ Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies