European Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series 2022
Popular Culture, Politics and Jews
A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.
This season’s lecture series Popular Culture, Politics and Jews delves into the rich world of German-Jewish and European-Jewish popular culture, examining its diverse manifestations, forgotten origins, creative adaptations, mass appeal and political dimensions and motivations in history. It explores the topic by looking at a cross section of its expression in film, television, theatre, dance, music and literature.
Professor Hanno Loewy (Director of the Jewish Museum Hohenems, Austria) – Jukebox? Jewkbox!
The history of ‘Pop’ is a history of music, migration and transcultural exchange. Following the invention of recording technologies and the worldwide production and distribution of records at the end of the 19th century, the new music industry created a new global culture. Jews were prominently involved in that process on all planes, from the creation of the Shellac record and the Gramophone by Emil Berliner, to the pioneers of the music industry and Tin Pan Alley. They were composers of musicals and popular songs and popularized ‘Jewish culture’ through cantorial music, Yiddish theatre or the invention of the iconic ‘Jewish humour’. All this was often the product of disturbing and painful experiences of migration, uprooting and newly ‘invented identities’.
Hanno Loewy, PhD, is a scholar of literature and film, an exhibition curator, and, since 2004, the Director of the Jewish Museum Hohenems, Austria. He is the author and editor of several books on film theory, Holocaust, Jewish history and popular culture.
Introduction by Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director Leo Baeck Institute London) and Dr Michael Schaich (Deputy Director GHIL):