“Follow My Nose: The History of Yiddish Cartooning” – For many centuries, Jews were the target of antisemitic visuals, images that framed them negatively as one-dimensional figures. It is only with the advent of the Yiddish press that Jewish artists began to develop a visual language with which they were able to describe their own communities. Yiddish cartoons became a unique forum that considered all aspects of cultural and political life, as well as a number of little known scandals that occurred in Yiddish-speaking communities which historians have mostly ignored.
Eddy Portnoy, the Academic Adviser and Exhibitions Curator at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, is the author of Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press. Portnoy earned an MA in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University and a PhD in Jewish History from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In addition to curating exhibits, he writes and lectures on Jewish popular culture. At Ashkenaz 2022 Portnoy will deliver multiple lectures, including the following: ‘Am Yisrael High: The Story of Jews and Cannabis’, ‘Follow My Nose: The History of Yiddish Cartooning’, and ‘The Scandals of Yiddishland: Sensationalism and Yiddish Journalism’.