JTS Scholar Edits New Book Examining Global View of Jewish Theater

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

November 30, 2009, New York, NY

Jewish Theatre: A Global View (Brill, November 2009), a collection of essays edited by Dr. Edna Nahshon, offers a global view of Jewish theater through the lens of an international cadre of noted scholars who examine the intersection of Jewish performance and theater.

A professor of Hebrew at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and a recognized authority on Jews and performance and Jewish cultural studies, Dr. Nahshon is specifically interested in the connection between religion and the role played by the performing arts in shaping and reflecting Jewish concerns and interests.

Dr. Nahshon is a founding member of the New York University (NYU) working group on Jews, Media, and Religion and co-convener with NYU's Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett of the JTS-based faculty seminar devoted to "Jews and Performance." In February 2009, Dr. Nahshon convened "Jews/Theatre/Performance in an Intercultural World" at JTS, a groundbreaking conference that drew sixty participants from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Britain, and Israel for an examination of, among other topics, theater of the Holocaust, Jews and musical theater, Jews in European theater, experimental productions, theater in Israel, and Yiddish theater.

Jewish Theatre: A Global View consists of five sections: The World of Yiddish; Between Jews and Pole; Negotiating Identities in English, Italian, and German; Presence and Absence in the American Theatre; and Performing the Holocaust/Debating Israel On Stage. In addition to editing the volume, Dr. Nahshon contributed the introductory essay, "What Is Jewish Theatre?" as well as an article on "Philosemitism on the London Stage: Sydney Grundy's An Old Jew."

In addition to her work at JTS, Dr. Nahshon is a senior associate at Oxford University's Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. She is the recipient of prestigious academic grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Memorial Foundation, YIVO, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, and the American Academy for Jewish Research. In her many publications she has focused on Yiddish theater in America, the representation of Jews in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theater, and the nexus of religion and theatrical performance. Her books include Yiddish Proletarian Theatre: The Art and Politics of the Artef, 1925–1940 (1998); From the Ghetto to the Melting Pot: Israel Zangwill's Jewish Plays (2005); and Jews and Shoes (2008). She is currently working on a book titled Countering Shylock that examines Jewish responses to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Jewish Theatre: A Global View is available for purchase on Amazon.com.