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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

In conversation with David Brauner and Bryan Cheyette on Black-Jewish relations in American Literature (Black History Month). Seminar

18:00 - 19:30
13 October 2020
Online Event

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Parkes Institute at .

Event details

In collaboration with the Centre for Imperial and Post Colonial Studies (CIPCS). Part of the Parkes Institute Seminar Series 2020/21.

The event will be chaired by Dr Devorah Baum.

Please register on the Eventbrite link above and we will send you joining instructions prior to the seminar.


Professor David Brauner

Professor David Brauner , 'Blackness and Jewishness in the Fiction of Howard Jacobson'.

Looking in detail at a few passages from a number of Jacobson's novels, I will be exploring the ways in which Blackness is represented ambivalently, symbolising an otherness which is simultaneously analogous, and in opposition, to Jewishness.

Professor Bryan Cheyette

Professor Bryan Cheyette , 'The Ghetto in America: Black and Jewish?'

Following on from David, I will look in detail at a few passages from James Baldwin, Albert Murray, and Ralph Ellison in relation to the Harlem Ghetto and in response to Kenneth Clarke's Dark Ghetto (1965). I will look at the aesthetic and political debates in these writer's works concerning whether black Harlem was in fact a "ghetto" in stark contrast to the Jewish embrace of the Lower East Side of New York as the ur-ghetto.

Speaker Information

David Brauner is Professor of Contemporary Literature at The University of Reading (UK). He is co-editor of The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (2015) and the author of four books: Post-War Jewish Fiction: Ambivalence, Self-Explanation and Transatlantic Connections (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2001); Philip Roth (Manchester University Press, 2007); Contemporary American Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); and Howard Jacobson (Manchester University Press, forthcoming November 2020). He was Executive Co-Editor of Philip Roth Studies from 2014-2019 and has co-edited special issues of The Journal of American Studies and Jewish Culture and History. His essays have appeared in a wide range of journals, including The Yearbook of English Studies, Studies in the Novel, Modern Language Review, Canadian Literature, Studies in American Jewish Literature and Studies in Comics.

Bryan Cheyette is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Reading and a Fellow of the English Association. He has authored or edited twelve books. His recent work connects the history of antisemitism with colonialism and anti-black racism in, for example, Diasporas of the Mind: Jewish/Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History (Yale University Press, 2014); and Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is currently working on Testimonies: Slavery, Camps, Refugees for Oxford University Press.

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