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What You Can Learn From Bubbe’s Photos; Or, Jewish Clothing as Cultural History

Sunday, February 18, 2018, 02:00pm - 04:00pm
Contact info@jgsny.org


Speaker: Eric Silverman

What could be more mundane that clothing? Yet old Jewish garments can illustrate the complex social worlds in which Jews have always lived. For most of Jewish history, clothing represented a tension between dressing Jewish and dressing like everybody else. Clothing, that is, communicated messages about the different ways one could be Jewish in particular eras. This was especially true in the late-19th and early 20th-centuries, precisely the era in which the ancestors of most American Jews migrated to the United States. This talk, lavishly illustrated with images, show how we can ‘read’ the clothing in old Jewish photos for clues about the wider historical processes that shapes Jewish lives, aspirations, and struggles.
Prof. Eric Silverman is Research Professor of Anthropology at Wheelock College in Boston, and a Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. He studies the American Jewish experience and other cultures worldwide, especially in Papua New Guinea. He has published widely and written four books, including two connected to Jewish history: From Abraham to America: A History of Jewish Circumcision and A Cultural History of Jewish Dress.   
Location : Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St.
New York
Admission: JGS members are free, guests pay $5 at the door