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Gender, Sex and Jewishness in Weimar Cinema’s Monsters

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Prof Cathy Gelbin

The monstrous Jew of popular imagination found perhaps his most salient expression in Weimar cinema’s love of the uncanny. These films derive their lasting fascination from the often-ironic interplay of their separate and yet related gendered, sexualised and racialised portrayals. The talk explores how spectatorial pleasure can arise from the emerging gaps where the incoherence of these categories, presumed to be absolute in the biologized discourses of modernity, is playfully made visible and ridiculed.

Cathy Gelbin is Professor of Film and German Studies at the University of Manchester. Her work on feature film, video testimony, literary texts and live art has focused on Holocaust representations and the dynamics of German- speaking Jewish culture.

This season’s lecture series seeks to explore the connection of visual narratives in the context of beauty, ugliness and morality with representations of Jews and Jewishness in the Western world from the Middle Ages to the present day. We aim to examine the subject from different historical, social and artistic perspectives ranging from medieval mythology to Orientalism, Zionism, Feminism or modern aesthetics, and through the lens of a selection of diverse media including painting, photography and comics.

The remaining lectures this season will be held at Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU, and will also be available on Zoom.

Admission is free. Lectures will begin promptly at 6.30pm. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Overview of the 2023 Lecture Series

2023 Lecture Series Flyer (PDF)