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Carrying a Big Schtick: Jewish Acculturation and Masculinity in the Twentieth Century, with Miriam Eve Mora

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For twentieth-century Jewish immigrants and their children attempting to gain full access to American society, performative masculinity was a tool of acculturation. However, as scholar Miriam Eve Mora demonstrates, this performance is consistently challenged by American mainstream society that holds Jewish men outside of the American ideal of masculinity. Depicted as weak, effeminate, cowardly, gentle, bookish, or conflict-averse, Jewish men have been ascribed these qualities by outside forces, but some have also intentionally subscribed themselves to masculinities at odds with the American mainstream. Carrying a Big Schtick (Wayne State University Press, 2024) dissects notions of Jewish masculinity and its perception and practice in America in the twentieth century through the lenses of immigration and cultural history. Tracing Jewish masculinity through major themes and events including both World Wars, the Holocaust, American Zionism, Israeli statehood, and the Six-Day War, this work establishes that the struggle of this process can shed light on the changing dynamics in religious, social, and economic American Jewish life.

Miriam Eve Mora serves as the director of academic programs at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. A historian of American immigration and ethnicity, Mora has served as the inaugural Historian in Residence for the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at the New England Genealogical Historical Society and as the Marcus Center Fellow at the American Jewish Archives. She is cocreator of JewCE: The Jewish Comics Experience, a Jewish comic book and pop culture convention. Her previously published works on antisemitism, contemporary politics, and pop culture have appeared in the Washington Post, Journal of Jewish Identities, and Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024


Pacific Time
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Virtual via Zoom