Dr. Jarrod Tanny on Talking Point – Conversations With Laura Kessler
Will the Real Jewish Studies Scholars Please Stand Up?
— Jarrod Tanny gives his most comprehensive interview yet on the state of anti-Zionism in academia and how Jewish Studies Zionist Network is fighting back.
Jarrod Tanny is Associate Professor of History and the Charles and Hannah Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Between 2008 and 2010 he was the Schusterman post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Ohio University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, focusing on Russian and Jewish history. Originally from Montreal, Canada, he completed an M.A. at the University of Toronto and a B.A. at McGill University. His monograph, City of Rogues and Schnorrers (Indiana University Press, 2011), examines how the city of Odessa was mythologized as a Jewish city of sin, celebrated and vilified for its Jewish gangsters, pimps, bawdy musicians, and comedians. In 2012, Dr. Tanny published an essay called “Between the Borscht Belt and the Bible Belt: Crafting Southern Jewishness through Chutzpah and Humor,” in the journal Southern Jewish History. Most recently, he published “Curb Your Orgasm: Larry David and the Schlimazel as Sexual Deviant,” in Jewish Film & New Media: An International Journal. He is currently working on a larger study on Jewish humor in post-World War II America and its place within the larger context of the European Jewish past. Tanny just completed writing a book tentatively titled The Babylonian Seinfeld, a satiric take on the hit TV series, in which the great rabbis of the Talmudic era sit gathered in the Yeshiva to discuss and debate the issues raised in each Seinfeld episode. He has also published numerous opeds on antisemitism in The Forward, Tablet Magazine, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Journal, and The Jewish Review of Books. Tanny’s growing concern over the rise of antisemitism on college campuses and the seeming indifference of faculty led him to establish the Jewish Studies Zionist Network, an association for Jewish Studies scholars who are pushing back against the demonization of Israel and its supporters in the academy.