Archive for 2020

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[Commlist] CFP: Special Issue- streaming the Ultra-Orthodox Jew: new visibilities in transnational contexts

Wed Jul 22 16:11:31 GMT 2020

Please see a CFP for a special issue of /Jewish Film and New Media: An International Journal/ <>on New visibilities of Ultra-Orthodox Jews on streaming platforms. *//*

Edited by Yael Friedman and Sophia Wood.

One of the evident transformations that were brought about by the rise of streaming platforms in the past decade is the sheer volume and diversity of television and film content from around the world showcased to global mainstream audiences.    Within this landscape, the number of TV series and films that portray Jewish communities and themes seem to be flourishing, so much so that a recent headline of the popular entertainment magazine /Vanity Fair/ proclaimed “When Did TV Get So Jewish?”[1].   Indeed, recent productions range from comedies such as /The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel/ (Amy Sherman-Palladino, 2017 -) /Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/ (Rachel Bloom, 2015-2019) and /The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch/ (Michael Steiner, 2018), to dramas such as /Transparent/ (Jill Soloway,2014-2019) and /Hunters/ (David Weil, 2020), as well as titles featuring the Israeli security services including /The Spy/ (Gideon Raff, 2019), /Mossad 101/ (Izhar Harlec, Uri Levron and Daniel Syrkin, 2015-2018), /The Angle/ (Ariel Vormen, 2018) /Fauda/ (Lior Raz and Avi Issascharoff, 2015-2020), /The Red Sea Diving Resort/ (Gideon Raff, 2019). These examples seem to share a global appeal that speak to different audiences around the world.

While Jewish characters and themes are by no means a novelty on the American screen – both on television and in cinemas - this new wave of programmes is interesting not only for its global appeal but also as it includes a focus on the previously less visible experience of Ultra-orthodox Jews. The most prominent examples are the Yiddish-speaking Netflix original mini-series /Unorthodox/ (Schrader, 2020), about the escape of a young Haredi women from the confinements of her Brooklyn-based Satmar Hasidic community, and the Israeli drama series /Shtisel/ (Ori Elon and Yehonatan Indursky, 2013- 2015)  that follows the daily life of a bereaved family in the Ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem, which was bought by Netflix in 2018, several years after it was first aired on Israeli television.

The unexpected global success of both these ‘niche-themed’ series, about minority closed religious communities, invites critical attention.[2] Their modes of representation and patterns of reception are worthy of examination especially at times where discourses of hate and extremism appear to be on the rise, including expressions of antisemitism, and debates around assimilation and pluralism are rehearsed in familiar and mutated ways across Europe and the US.

We invite proposals for papers that would discuss these new representations of *Haredi communities* from diverse critical perspectives, and within the context of transnationality and transmedia, with a focus on screen representations. Topics can include, but are not limited to, studies of production contexts; reception, viewership and fandom of new Jewish-Orthodox content; comparative textual analysis across media; notions of alterity, otherness and exclusion; the rise of religiosity and perceptions of fundamentalism; Jewish identity and intersectionality.

Abstracts of 350-500 words should be emailed to (yael.friedman /at/ <mailto:(yael.friedman /at/>and (Sophia.wood /at/ <mailto:(Sophia.wood /at/>by 30 August 2020.

Notification of acceptance: 30 September 2020. First draft of full article: 15 May 2021.


[1]Lisa Liebman “When Did Television Get so Jewish?” Vanity Fair, 16 March 2020,.<>

(rederived 29.4.2020)

[2] For example, in the week commencing the 6^th of April 2020, Unorthodox was rated by Netflix as no. 10 of their Top 10 Watched title List in the UK.

This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]