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Marginalization and Masculinity: Jewish Sports in East Central Europe

Mon, November 1, 2010 | CPE 2.212

3:00 AM - 5:30 AM

In this presentation, Dr.  Lichtenstein will be looking at the relationship between nationalism and masculinity.  Drawing on her own research on Eastern Europe between the World Wars, a region of new and expanded states with significant religious and linguistic minorities, she will look at the process through which Jewish nationalism was used to articulate demands for civic and social equality.  Focusing on the Zionist movement in Czechoslovakia, she argues that Jewish nationalists sought to carve out a social and political place for the Jewish minority by transforming Jews into model citizens. In particular, Zionists’ attention to male Jews’ bodies, reflected in networks of sports and gymnastic clubs and in Zionist iconography, typified a process of regeneration believed to enable Jewish men to take on the physical and moral responsibilities of citizenship.  Making Jews more manly, these activists trusted, was a major step towards ending Jews’ marginalization in Eastern Europe.

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