“Jewish Music and Jewish Identity” conference Oct. 19, 20, 21

Jewish Music conferenceLectures, recitals and performances from scholars and musicians throughout the world are featured in a conference titled “Jewish Music and Jewish Identity” Oct. 19, 20 and 21 on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The conference is presented by the YSU Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies and the Dana School of Music.

“The number of really important international scholars coming to this conference is a testament to the importance of the topic and the rising stature of YSU as a scholarly center,” said Helene Sinnreich, Clayman Professor of Judaic and Holocaust Studies and director, Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies at YSU. “The exciting thing about this conference is that the papers are important to scholars but also very interesting to members of the general public.”

The idea for the conference began in 2009, when it was included on the schedule as a possible collaborative event. Planning began in 2012 to create the topics and recruit the speakers.

“It is appropriate that two similar academic areas would collaborate on a conference of this scope since music is central to each area,” said Randall Goldberg, assistant professor in the Dana School of Music. “Music historians and ethnomusicologists study Jewish music, while Jewish music is central to those interested in Jewish cultural studies.”

Events include:

Sunday, Oct. 19

12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Lecture Recital: Maureen Jackson, “Mixing Musics: Turkish Jewry and the Urban Landscape of a Sacred Song,” in McKay Auditorium, Beeghly Hall.

1:30 to 3 p.m., “Jewish Identity in Oratorio and Opera,” in McKay Auditorium, Beeghly Hall. Liran Gurkiewicz (Bar-Ilan University), “Paul BeHaim: The Oratorio Joram and the Jewish Identity of Composer”; Erin K. Maher (UNC Chapel Hill), “Darius Milhaud’s David in Jerusalem and Los Angeles”; Jesse Rosenberg (Northwestern University), “Jewish Identity in the Operas of Fascist Italy.”

3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
“Sephardi/Mizrahi Music and Transnational Identities.” Amy Horowitz (Indiana University), “The Levantine Position: The Sounds of Avihu Medina”; Galeet Dardashti (New York University): “Transnational Cyber-Music Encounters: The Case of Rita, the Iranian Born Pop Music Diva”; Evan Rapport (Eugene Lang College and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music), “International Popular Music Styles and Contemporary Bukharin Jewish Identity”; Ari Ariel (Bryn Mawr College): “YouTube Music Videos and the Construction of Yemeni Musical Identity.”

6 p.m. Indian Dinner at the Jewish Community Center, $10, reservation required, RSVP to Elizabeth Howell at the YSU Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies at 330-941-1604 or Judaic@ysu.edu.

7:30 p.m. Performance by Om Shalom Trio at the Jewish Community Center. Om Shalom, an Indian-Jewish ensemble. The performance is free and open to the public.


Monday, Oct. 20

(All Monday events are in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus unless otherwise noted)

9 to 10 a.m. “Jewish Music in (Pre- and Post-) Holocaust Europe.” Marsha Dubrow (CUNY Graduate Center), “On Jewish Music and Jewish Identity: Emma Schaver and the DP Camps of Post Holocaust U.S. Occupied Bavaria”; Joel Rubin (University of Virginia): “Music without Borders in the New Germany and Beyond: The Legacy of Giora Feidman in the Klezmer-Influenced Sounds of Helmut Eisel and David Orlowsky.”

10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
“Jewish Identity on the International Stage.” Steven J. Cahn (University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music), “Harmonic Practice in Solomon Jadassohn’s Jewish Choral Music”; Stephen Muir (University of Leeds), “Jewish Music and Identity in the South African Jewish Community: Perspectives from the Cape Town Choral Tradition”; Francesco Spagnolo (UC Berkeley), ”Marginal Cosmopolitans: Musical Representations of Italian Jewish Identity.”

Noon to 1 p.m. Lunch. $10, reservation required.

1 to 2:00 p.m. Lecture Recital: Izabella Goldstein (University of Manchester), “Performing Songs of the Jewish Underworld: Questions of Identity and Gender.”

2:15 to 3:45 p.m. “Articulating Transnational Identities.” Louis Epstein (St. Olaf College), “Darius Milhaud and the Problem of Jewish Identity”; Matthew Mugmon (University of Arizona), “Copland’s (Self-)Defense of Mahler as a Jewish Composer”; Abby Anderton (CUNY, Baruch College), “Concertizing with the Enemy: Bernstein’s Visit to Postwar Germany.”

4 to 5:30 p.m. “American Jewish Composers in the Twentieth Century.” Katherine Ann Baber (University of the Redlands), “Leonard Bernstein’s Rabbinical Impulse”; Joel Hunt (UC Santa Barbara), “Variations on Jewish Themes: Jewish Identity in the Life and Music of Henry Brant”; Aaron Fruchtman (UC Riverside), “Jewish Identity in Max Steiner’s Symphony of Six Millio.”

7 p.m. Film screening: “Iraq n’ Roll” in the auditorium of the Williamson College of Business Administration.

Tuesday, Oct. 21

(All Tuesday events are in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus unless otherwise noted.)

8:30 to 10:30 a.m. “Popular American Music.” Randall Goldberg (Youngstown State University),“Elegies to Kishinev in Jewish-American Popular Music”; Aaron Manela (Case Western Reserve University), “Chosen Cowboy Mazel Tov: Novelty Song and the Effeminate Danger of the Urban Jew”; Daniel Goldmark (Case Western Reserve University), “Musical Stereotyping American Jewry in Early 20th- Century Mass Media”; Katherine Meizel (Bowling Green State University), “Conversion and Convergence: New Voices in Jewish Song.”

10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
“Music in the Youth Culture.” Eleonore Biezunski (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales), “Creating Songs in a Multi-Cultural Context: ‘Felker Yomtov’ at Camp Boiberik”; Judah Cohen (Indiana University), “From Generation to Generation: Debbie Friedman in Chicago, 1972-1976.”

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