1-2pm, Wednesday 11th November 2015
Dr Mia Spiro (School of Critical Studies), ‘Between two Worlds: The Possessing Spirit of The Dybbuk in Interwar Jewish Theatre’
Discussant: Prof. Chris Philo (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
In the preface to his play script, The Dybbuk (1914) S. Ansky writes ‘throughout the play there is a battle between … the individual’s striving for happiness and the survival of the nation.’ Thus Ansky, an ethnographer and historian, set out to recapture the disappearing culture of the Jewish shtetl in one of the most popular and enduring Jewish theatrical pieces. This paper will explore how the idea of the “dybbuk” — the possessing spirit — transforms in the interwar years as Jewish theatre and film directors grapple with the haunting and very “undead” spirit of a Jewish cultural life on the verge of destruction.
All discussion sessions take place between 1-2pm in Room 311 in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, East Quad. Directions are available here.