Program and Events

Guests Lecture Series

  • Wed
    18
    Mar
    2020

    Prof. Shelly Zer-Zion. The Shtetl in the Eretz-Israeli Theatre of the 1930's and the performance of ethnic Zionism

    6:00 pmUniversity of Vienna (tbc)

    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 would like to explore 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. I would like to focus on three case-studies. In the first case-study I will investigate the tension between peoplehood and the formation of cultural hegemony. On the second case-study I will discuss the temporal tension between past and present. The third case-study will focus on the spatial tension between a net of locations that constitute Jewish identity vs. the centrality of Eretz-Israel.