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The Case of the Sexy Jewess : Dance, Gender and Jewish Joke-work in US Pop Culture, Hardback Book

The Case of the Sexy Jewess : Dance, Gender and Jewish Joke-work in US Pop Culture Hardback


Amidst the growing forums of kinky Jews, orthodox drag queens, and Jewish geisha girls, we findtoday's sexy Jewess in a host of reflexive plays with sexed-up self-display.

A social phantasm withreal legs, she moves boldly between neo-burlesque striptease, comedy television, ballet movies, andprogressive porn to construct the 21st Century Jewish American woman through charisma andcomic craft, in-your-face antics, and offensive charm.

Her image redresses longstanding stereotypesof the hag, the Jewish mother, and Jewish American princess that have demeaned the Jewishwoman as overly demanding, inappropriate, and unattractive across the 20th century, even as Jewsassimilated into the American mainstream.

But why does "sexy" work to update tropes of the Jewishwoman? And how does sex link to humor in order for this update to work?

Entangling questions ofsexiness to race, gender, and class, The Case of the Sexy Jewess frames an embodied joke-workgenre that is most often, but not always meant to be funny.

In a contemporary period after thethrusts of assimilation and women's liberation movements, performances usher in new versions ofold scripts with ranging consequences.

At the core is the recuperative performance of identitythrough impersonation, and the question of its radical or conservative potential.

Appropriating,re-appropriating, and mis-appropriating identity material within and beyond their midst, Sexy Jewessartists play up the failed logic of representation by mocking identity categories altogether.

They actas comic chameleons, morphing between margin and center in countless number of chargedcaricatures.

Embodying ethnic and gender positions as always already on the edge while ever morein the middle, contemporary Jewish female performers extend a comic tradition in new contexts,mobilizing progressive discourses from positions of newfound race and gender privilege.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 222 pages, 32 halftone
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Film, TV & radio
  • ISBN: 9780190624194



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