Prof. Kraus Talking on Jewish Gangsters in Literature & Film at MELUS Conference in April

Prof. Joe Kraus will be delivering his paper, “Escaping the Frame-Up: Theorizing the Jewish Gangster as a Sign of Self-Erasure” at the MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States) Conference in Athens, GA, on April 11.

In it, he tries to make sense of the fact that Jewish gangster characters are far more common in fiction and film than most observers seem to notice. He argues that part of that is because the Jewish gangster has no implicit history of the sort that Italian or Italian-American gangsters have with the Mafia or that African-American or Latino gangsters have in the context of gangs formed to confront racism. Instead, the Jewish gangster seems a kind of cipher, a character without a generic story, so he seems an anomaly each time he appears.

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