Raced, Sexed, and Erased, Jews in Contemporary Visual Entertainment

Primary author: Carol Siegel

Primary college/unit: Arts and Sciences
Campus: Vancouver


My project, “Raced, Sexed, and Erased, Jews in Contemporary Visual Entertainment,” is an intersectional study currently under peer review at Indiana University Press. The book rebuts the claim that Jews are now racially unmarked white people by providing a history of the intertwined racialization and sexualization of Jews through film and television narratives. The chapters are: One, “Sexual Perversity and the Jewish Therapist Figure,” which compares the films Nymphomaniac and A Dangerous Method; Two, “Imaginary Histories of Americanized Jews in Love,” which analyzes the impact of racialization and sexualization on Jewish efforts to assimilate into mainstream American culture in the films Hester Street, Once Upon a Time in America, Casino and Radio Days; Chapter Three, “Sex, Rage, and Revenge,” discusses films about World War II that eroticize Jewish resistance to fascism and focuses on Black Book and Inglourious Basterds; Chapter Four, “Not So Nice Jewish Girls,” compares the television series Transparent and Broad City; Chapter Five, “Holocaust Erasure and Jewish Identity Erasure,” explores the resemblance of the film Call Me By Your Name to the documentaries Crazy Love and Capturing the Friedmans and the fictional film The Last Embrace, all of which avoid any consideration of the Holocaust and its effects on the sexualities of Jews from WWII on; Chapter Six, “Monstrous Jewish Sexualities as Minoritarian Cinema,” responds to the frequently made accusation that the Coen brothers’ films are anti-Semitic by looking at their double-address narrative strategies. The conclusion suggests ways to combat the erasure of Jewish racialization in media.