March 15 at 5PM
Dr. C. Tova Markenson
“Jewish Feelings: Performing Tsuris (Troubles) at the Yiddish Theatre in Buenos Aires, 1880-1940”
This lecture is part of the YSU Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies‘ Emerging Scholar Lecture Series
Dr. Markenson asks, “How can we be present to the past when that history is filled with shame?” This project is the first full-length study of a locus of shame for diasporic Jews, the Yiddish theatres in Buenos Aires, which many believed maintained business ties with Jewish pimps. Amidst antisemitic stereotypes that Jews were sexually deviant—and the historical reality that some Jews were sex workers—many have dismissed the Argentinean Yiddish theatres as a “low brow” cultural arena. Arguing that the Yiddish theatres in Buenos Aires were a flash point for conflict about acceptable performances of Jewishness, I build on methods from theatre studies and affect studies to support interdisciplinary scholars of Jewish Studies in “making sense” of shame.