8 May @ 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm
Dr Julia Wagner explores representations of Jewish women on screen, focusing on young protagonists from wealthy families who use their privileged positions for social good, including: Private Benjamin (dir. Howard Zieff, 1980) starring Goldie Hawn; Dirty Dancing (dir. Emile Ardolino, 1987) with Jennifer Grey as Frances Houseman; and Clueless (dir. Amy Heckerling, 1995), in which Alicia Silverstone plays Cher Horowitz.
The lecture discusses the origins of the Jewish American Princess stereotype and how it has been used in romantic comedies and teen-focused films to challenge ideas of Jewish women’s relationship to money – and, by association, daddy.
How do our protagonists assert their independence and effect social change? How do the films portray female power, money and privilege, duty and loyalty, personal responsibility and social conscience? By analysing these films from a feminist perspective, we see how and why the heroines challenge negative stereotypes and provide positive images of Jewish women.
Dr Julia Ruth Wagner is a film lecturer and writer. She holds a PhD in Film Studies (UCL) and an MA in Italian Studies (University of Edinburgh). Julia specialises in Jewish cinema, cultural memory and the work of female filmmakers. She has lectured widely, including teaching film courses at the Phoenix Cinema and JW3, and presenting at Limmud UK and international conferences. Julia writes about film for the Jewish Quarterly journal, and is curating Jewish Britain on Film, a JW3/British Film Institute-funded archive project. Julia regularly hosts Q&As with filmmakers and is passionate about film education and public engagement.
Professor Mirjam Zadoff shares the cultural history of shidduchim (Jewish matchmaking), the ‘dating project’ focuses on strategies of building economic and political networks through carefully chosen marriage partners around the globe.
Professor Nathan Abrams sheds light on how Jews transformed the British entertainment industries, creating some of the most iconic characters and images of the twentieth century, including James Bond, Doctor Who, Carry On, and many others. In so doing, British Jews infused their creations with hidden Jewish themes.