Fiddler on the Roof is one of the most beloved artifacts of American Jewish culture. This talk will take a closer look at the roots of this deeply sentimental portrayal of shtetl life to reveal a series of political investments that continue to shape American Jewish communal life.


Ari Y. Kelman is an Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis. He also
serves as the director of the Graduate Group in the Study of Religion, and is a member of the Jewish Studies Program Committee. He sits on the executive committee of the Cultural Studies Program. His interests focus primarily on aural cultures, with particular interest on the sonic dimensions of American religious communities. Prof. Kelman is also a scholar of contemporary Jewish culture, in its many manifestations and is the author of Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio, the editor of Is Diss a System: a Milt Gross Comic Reader and Sacred Strategies.