May 19, 2009
4:00 – 5:00 PM
210 Humanities 1
A Dialogue With:
Nathaniel Deutsch of UC Santa Cruz, Mitchell Duneier of Princeton University, and Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University. Moderated by Eric Porter of UC Santa Cruz
Since its inception in sixteenth century Venice, the term “ghetto” has been applied to Jewish urban spaces in Europe and the United States. Over the last half century, it has also become associated with African American inner city neighborhoods. Highly regulated and surveilled by the state, Jewish and African American ghettos have also been marked by a high degree of social autonomy. Ghettos have functioned as sites of extraordinary cultural and religious creativity—and extreme violence and repression. Alternately mythologized and pathologized, the ghetto also exists as an imaginary space that has defined and distorted the historical representation(s) of Jews and African Americans, respectively. Over time, ghetto has come to signify a place, a way of being in the world, and a state of mind.
In this interdisciplinary dialogue, the first of a series that will bring together scholars of Jewish Studies with scholars from other fields, Professor Nathaniel Deutsch, Co-Director of the Center of Jewish Studies at UCSC, Professor Mitchell Duneier of Princeton University, and Professor Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University discussed these and other aspects of the ghetto. Professor Eric Porter, Chair of the Department of American Studies at UCSC and author of the award winning book “What Is This Thing Called Jazz? African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists,” introduced and moderated the dialogue. The event was made possible by a grant from the David B. Gold Foundation and was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Department of American Studies, and the Urban Studies Working Group.
Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. He is an award-winning author, most recently of the New York Times bestseller “Gang Leader for a Day” (Penguin), a film maker, and radio producer, whose work has appeared in “The New York Times,” “This American Life,” and other venues. Venkatesh’s research on Chicago street gangs served as the basis for a chapter in “Freakonomics.”
Mitchell Duneier is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and regular Visiting Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. His first book, “Slim’s Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity” won the 1994 American Sociological Association’s award for Distinguished Scholarly Publication. His second book “Sidewalk” (1999), won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the C. Wright Mills Award.
The event was made possible by a grant from the David B. Gold Foundation and was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Department of American Studies, and the Urban Studies Working Group. Supported by the Institute for Humanities Research.