This Honors project is a site of intersection of my academic and activist interests in interrogating Whiteness, my social identity as a cultural Jewish American, and my creative passions in comedy performance. The tragicomic films The Graduate, Goodbye, Columbus, and Annie Hall of the 1960s and 1970s articulate the painful process of Jewish self- and group-definition in relation to dominant culture amidst fractures amongst Jews and external hostility and invitation. The collision of Jews’ long history of humor as a cultural practice and the turbulence and ambivalence of the post-World War II moment facilitated a space for Jewish tragicomedy in popular culture, a space that allowed for a release of painful tensions of assimilation and identity formation.
Lesnick, Emily Schorr, "Can We Laugh? Jewish American Comedy's Expression of Anxiety in a Time of Change, 1965-1973" (2011). American Studies Honors Projects. Paper 5.
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