From Jean Carroll to Mrs. Maisel: Jewish Women Comedians as Inspiration

SPOTLIGHT: Issues and Ideas

Grace Kessler Overbeke (she/her; they/them), Columbia College, Assistant Professor, Theatre Department, Assistant Professor

Jewish humor comes by its subversiveness honestly: Jewish theology and culture encourages us to constantly question authority. Male Jewish comedians in twentieth-century America have famously demonstrated these subversive tendencies through their socially and politically critical comedy. This presentation argues that Female Jewish comedians in twentieth-century America have demonstrated the same level of subversive tendencies, but in markedly different ways. This session will examine that history of rule-breaking, paying special attention to pioneers like Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, Joan Rivers, Elayne Boosler, and Sarah Silverman.

Facilitator

Grace Overbeke, PhD: Grace Kessler Overbeke is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department of Columbia College with a focus on Comedy Writing and Performance. Previously, she served as the Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Duke University. Her most recent scholarship appears in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Theatre Topics, and Theatre Annual. Other publications appear in The New England Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Studies in American Humor, and The Jewish Forward. She was the recipient of the Mark and Ruth Luckens International Prize in Jewish Thought and Culture, and the Northwestern Crown Center Fellowship for Jewish and Israel Studies. She received her B.A. in Theatre and English from Wesleyan University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University's Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama.

This meeting takes place on Zoom. The zoom links are sent via email in your membership update letter, and again an hour before each event. To get access to our programs, visit our registration page.

This meeting takes place on Zoom. The zoom links are sent via email in your membership update letter, and again an hour before each event. To get access to our programs, you may become a member.