Jewish on Demand: Representation and Difference in the Streaming Era
Prof Henry Bial
(University of Kansas, USA)
6.30pm, 5 December 2019
Classic Jewish film and television, from The Jazz Singer to Seinfeld, was shaped by the economic need to reach the broadest possible audience, leading to creative strategies that minimized or downplayed the difference between Jews and the rest of society. As Netflix and other streaming services have made more specialized entertainment commercially viable, new ways of acting Jewish on screen have emerged that highlight the quirkier and more contested aspects of Jewish identity.
Henry Bial is Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas, where he has also served as Director of Jewish Studies, Director of the School of the Arts, and Chair of the Department of American Studies. He is the author of Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen (2005) and Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage (2015).