From: Sangeeta Mediratta <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 12:07 AM
Subject: Today @ Noon: Anna Schultz, Performing Translation: Indian Jewish Devotional Song and Minority Identity on the Move
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Afroz Zain Algiers <email@example.com>, Samra Adeni <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Encina Hall West, Room 208
Performing Translation: Indian Jewish Devotional Song and Minority Identity on the Move
This research on Bene Israel (Marathi Jewish) devotional music explores dialogue between the Bene Israel and other social groups, and suggests new ways for thinking about cultural translation in musical contexts. The first half of the presentation is on Bene Israel kirtans (devotional songs with storytelling) performed in the decades following the founding of the first Jewish kirtan organization in 1880 and addresses how and why a Hindu temple genre was translated for Jewish purposes. The second half of the presentation addresses the re-gendering of kirtan and other Marathi Jewish song forms during their revival in late 20th-century Bombay and Israel. From the 1880s through the 1920s, Bene Israel men published dozens of Marathi Jewish kirtans, plays, songbooks, and ritual instruction books, but Marathi performing arts publishing waned as interest in Zionism increased in the 1920s. Women filled that lacuna by maintaining kirtan and other Bene Israel songs in the oral tradition. In the 1960s, as Indian Jewish people became increasingly dissatisfied with their marginal status in India and Israel, Bene Israeli women proudly sang Marathi Jewish songs to convince people that being Indian made them no less Jewish and that being Jewish made them no less Indian.
Anna Schultz is Assistant Professor of Music at Stanford University. Her book, Singing a Hindu Nation, was published by Oxford University press in 2013. Her other publications are on South Asian popular song, Marathi and Indo-Caribbean devotional music, American country music, nationalism, the aesthetics of suffering, new media, recording technology, patronage, liveness, and diaspora.
Free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.
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