Blacks, Jews & the Comedy of Subversion

November 7, 2009

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This provocative roundtable discussion explores two of the most important influences on comedy and popular culture in the United States: African American humor and Jewish humor. From Bert Williams, Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer, and the “race films” of the 1920s to Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, and the age of Obama, the panelists will discuss comedy's role in critiquing and subverting dominant American culture.

Panelists include Romi Crawford, assistant professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute and a former curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Sander Gilman, an authority on Jewish culture and psychoanalysis and professor of humanities at Emory University; and Mel Watkins, author of On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock.

 

Recorded Saturday, November 07, 2009 at Harold Washington Library Center.