Professor Freedman holds a joint appointment in the Departments of American Culture (AC) and English Language and Literature
Highlighted Work and Publications
Klezmer America: Jewishness, Ethnicity, Modernity
Klezmer is a continually evolving musical tradition that grows out of Eastern European Jewish culture, and its changes reflect Jews' interaction with other groups as well as their shifting relations to their own history. But what happens when, in the klezmer spirit, the performances that go into the making of Jewishness come into contact with those that build different forms of cultural identity? Jonathan Freedman argues that terms central to the Jewish experience in America, notions like "the immigrant," the "ethnic," and even the "model minority," have worked and continue to intertwine the Jewish-American...
The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America
From the beginning of modern intellectual history to the culture wars of the present day, the experience of assimilating Jews and the idiom of "culture" have been fundamentally intertwined with each other. Freedman's book begins by looking at images of the stereotypical Jew in the literary culture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century England and America, and then considers the efforts on the part of Jewish critics and intellectuals to counter this image in the public sphere. It explores the unexpected parallels and ironic reversals between a cultural dispensation that had ambivalent responses to...