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In our Image: Meeting our Ultraorthodox Other on Netflix

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Dr Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

In recent years, streaming networks have offered new encounters with the lives and traditions of ultraorthodox Judaism through means of pop cultural representations. While some praised the accuracy with which series such as Shtisel (2013-2021) or Unorthodox (2020) presented ultraorthodox customs, others identified problematic anti-Semitic stereotypes in those depictions. This lecture examines how far the representations in either series serve as a distancing mirror of our own societies and looks at them in comparison to modes of classical serial storytelling in television as exemplified by series such as Dallas or Dynasty.

Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the European Forum at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published on visual history and memory of the Holocaust and on German and Israeli film history. He is a consortium member in the Horizon 2020 research and innovation action Visual History of the Holocaust: Rethinking Curation in the Digital Age (2019-2022).