“Jewface” Minstrelsy and “Jewfaçade” Display: Performing Cultural Memory in Contemporary Europe and Eurasia


ACLS Fellowship Program


Theater and Performance Studies


This project investigates what may be termed “Jewface” minstrelsy performances and “Jewfaçade” architectural and decorative displays—primarily by non-Jews, for both local audiences and foreign Jewish roots-seekers—in Europe and in the Jewish Autonomous Region in Russia’s far east. It completes text-based and first-hand observational research on Jewface and Jewfaçade in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the JAR. It examines a significant cultural development that has received nearly no attention, with objectives of furthering understanding of Europe’s memory of its Jewish past; demonstrating complex ways in which this memory is represented and transmitted; and providing vital insight into constructs of “home” and “homeland” within and beyond the Jewish case.