SEINFELD: A NEW YORK JEWISH ICON
DESCRIPTION: One of the most popular TV shows of all time, Seinfeld, also became a touchstone of secular Jewish identity. While most of the quartet of central characters, other than the Seinfeld character himself, were not identified as Jewish, the show afforded them stereotypical Jewish mannerisms and concerns - often relating to issues of etiquette and social behavior-in the realms of Jewish food, Jewish customs, and Jewish mating rituals. A show about “nothing” was nothing less than a showcase of Jewish anxieties at the turn of the 20th century in New York. This lecture will analyze scenes from selected Seinfeld episodes and mine them for their explicit/implicit Jewish content. It will conclude with a comparison between Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm (starring Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld).
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Ted Merwin, Ph.D. teaches religion and Judaic studies at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA), where he also directs the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. His first book, In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture was published by Rutgers University Press in 2006. His next book, Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the New York Jewish Deli, will be published by NYU Press in 2014. Ted’s articles on Jewish culture have appeared in the New
York Times (Arts & Leisure), Washington Post, Haaretz, London
Jewish Chronicle, Moment, Hadassah, and many other newspapers and magazines throughout the English-speaking world.
|1:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Tuesday, March 12
Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Member advance registration – $20
*$50 for any combination of three events, member advance registration only
*$100 for any combination of seven events, member advance registration only
Door price member / non-member – $25
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