” Funny Pictures — in Jewish “, presented by Carol Zemel
12:45 pm (after the kiddish) – 2:00 pm, in Room 305
Everyone knows about Jewish humour: it has a lengthy history and it’s widespread, and exists in every language that Jews speak. There is even plenty of humour in Tanakh. But Jews and visual humour? Funny pictures from a people often thought to be aniconic or against images generally?
Professor Zemel will explore Jewish visual jokes, as they appear in graphic novels and comics (a genre in which Jewish artists led the way), as well as their presence in contemporary art. We will begin with a very early example, the medieval Birds’ Head Haggadah (ca.1300), then consider some contemporary art, and, finally, think about the issue of humour in Holocaust imagery.
Carol Zemel Professor Emerita of Art History and Visual Culture at York University, Toronto. Her book Looking Jewish: Visual Culture and Modern Diaspora was published in June, 2015, by University of Indiana Press. Current projects include a study of visual humour, and Art in Extremis, a study of images made by prisoners in ghettos and camps during the Holocaust. Professor Zemel is a member of Congregation Shir Libeynu.