Princeton professor explores intersection between Jewish, American ghettos  

Mitchell Duneier from Princeton will visit campus for a 4:30 p.m. talk April 11 about his book, "Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, The History of an Idea." The talk will take place in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall.

“Mitch’s visit and the topic of his talk are vital to the kind of work Cornell’s Jewish Studies program is doing,” said Jonathan Boyarin, the Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies. “His book demonstrates the links between an older history of Jewish life in Europe, the experience of early twentieth-century immigrants, and African-American life in the twentieth century and beyond.”

Boyarin added that he and colleague Elissa Sampson, a visiting scholar in the Jewish studies program, learned about Duneier's new book just as they were publishing an article about the ghetto in Frankfurt “that served as a touchstone for sociologist Louis Worth's analysis of what he called the Jewish ‘ghetto’ on Chicago's South Side.”

Duneier is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and chair of the sociology department at Princeton. Ghetto, his most recent book, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016. The book traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present and it looks at the ghettos of Europe to understand race, poverty, and the problems of the American city. He is also the author of the award-winning urban ethnographies Slim’s Table and Sidewalk.

The event is sponsored by the Cornell Jewish Studies Program; Department of Sociology; Africana Studies; American Studies Program; Center for Population Studies; City and Regional Planning; and Center for the Study of Inequality.

“The range of units co-sponsoring this event similarly points to the wide importance of his topic, which concerns all who are interested in questions of community and difference,” Boyarin said.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.

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