CFP: Jewish Music and Humor Conference, New York City, April 29, 2018 (Deadline: February 1, 2018)

Samantha Cooper's picture
Call for Papers
February 1, 2018
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Music and Music History, Popular Culture Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

The Jewish Music Forum issues a call for papers for the conference:
Jewish Music and Humor
with keynote address
“Scoring Jewish Comedy: The (Very) Early Years”
by Dr. Daniel Goldmark (Case Western Reserve University)

Sunday, April 29, 2018
Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St. New York, NY 10011

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2018
Acceptance Notifications: February 15, 2018
Abstract word limit: 300 words

Please send to abstract submissions in .doc format to Papers will be 20 minutes in length, followed by a 10 minute Q&A.

The Jewish Music Forum welcomes the submission of abstracts for scholarly papers on topics related to the theme of Jewish Music and Humor. Humor has historically been an important and frequently present component of Jewish music. Humor enables Jewish musicians to negotiate their place in society, express an ever-changing national and religious identity, engage in conversations that may not otherwise take place, and much more. In what ways do humor and music intersect in Jewish cultures? How have humor and music been used in the political and social aspirations of Jews? Through what discourses do musicians and comedians confront and shape Jewish identity? In this conference we seek to investigate these concepts and others, ultimately asking about the ways that comedy and music have been implicated in conversations about Jewishness.

We welcome proposals that approach these topics from any disciplinary perspective, and encourage scholars to suggest topics across a wide scope of time and place. Scholars in all career stages are encouraged to submit work, in the hope of connecting the scholarship of senior scholars, recent PhDs, and graduate students. A limited number of travel stipends are available for graduate student attendees.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The interplay of the religious and secular in musical humor
  • Comedic songs of the Yiddish theater and the Borscht Belt
  • Humor in Sephardi and Mizrahi music cultures
  • The Purim shpiyl
  • Cabaret, vaudeville, and ethnic novelty performances and recordings
  • Humor in music of the Holocaust
  • Jewish a cappella choral performance                                                    
Contact Info: 

Samantha Cooper

New York University

Associate Executive Director, Jewish Music Forum