Donald Weber

Professor of English (Retired)
American literature and culture; ethnic studies; film; politics and literature

Donald Weber is the author of Haunted in the World: Jewish American Culture from Cahan to 'The Goldbergs' (2005, Indiana University Press). The book explores the ways modern Jewish writers and makers of popular culture responded to the challenge of adjusting to America, voicing their imaginative encounter in accents of resistance and celebration, irony and longing.

In 2003, Weber was the recipient of a fellowship to the Bellagio Center for his project "The Anxiety of Belonging: Multiculturalism and Identity Politics in U.S. and UK Literacy and Popular Culture." The project compares how the idea of belonging and the constructions of ethnic identity are explored in the literary and popular cultures of the U.S. and UK. Fellowships to the Bellagio Center, a historic estate on the shores of Lake Como run by the Rockefeller Foundation, are highly prestigious and go to established scholars judged by their peers to be doing cutting-edge work.

Weber's recent essays have appeared in The Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature (2003), Entertaining America (2003), Key Texts in American Jewish Culture (2003),Jewish Social Studies (1999), The Massachusetts Review (1997),Talking Back: Representations of Jewish Women in American Popular Culture (1998), and The Other Fifties: Interrogating Midcentury American Icons (1996). He teaches a first-year seminar Multicultural Families, American Literature I and III, Ethnic Expression in America, The Political Imagination in Contemporary South Africa, and Henry James on Film.

Weber was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of London's Institute of English Studies while on leave during the spring 2006 semester.

Selected Publications

  • "The Rise of Abraham Cahan by Seth Lipsky (review)". Studies in American Jewish Literature, Volume 35, Number 1, 2016, pp. 127-131.
  • "My Puritan Origins". Early American Literature, Volume 47, Number 2, 2012, pp. 377-390.
  • "''Something on My Own': Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929–1956 (review)". Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Volume 27, Number 3, Spring 2009, pp. 206-208.
  • "About My Friend, Jay Fliegelman". Early American Literature,Volume 43, Number 1, 2008, pp. 141-143.
  • "Safety or Efficiency?: Strategies and Conflicting Interests in Belgian Road-Safety Policy, 1920–1940". Technology and Culture, Volume 56, Number 2, April 2015, pp. 394-419.
  • "Fatih Akin’s Cinema of Hospitality". The Massachusetts Review, Volume 56, Number 3, Fall 2015, pp. 421-439.
  • "Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area (review)". American Jewish History, Volume 87, Number 4, December 1999, pp. 395-397.
  • "Powers of Empathy: Hollywood's Representation of Jews in Crossfire and Gentleman's Agreement". Key Texts in American Jewish Culture. ed. Jack Kugelmass
    (forthcoming, Rutgers Univ. Press)
  • "Accents of the Future," entry on Popular culture in Cambridge Companion to American Jewish Literature ed. Michael P. Kramer and Hana Wirth-Nesher (forthcoming, Cambridge Univ. Press)
  • "Shame and Self-hatred in the Early Fiction of John Fante," inJohn Fante: A Critical Gathering, ed. Stephen Cooper and David Fine (forthcoming, Farleigh Dickison Univ. Press), pp. 65-76.
  • "Taking Jewish American Popular Culture Seriously: The Yinglish Worlds of Gertrude Berg, Milton Berle, and Mickey Katz," Jewish Social Studies 5 (1999), 124-53.
  • "Manners and Morals, Civility and Barbarism: The Cultural Contexts of Seize the Day," in New Essays on Seize the Day, ed. Michael P. Kramer (New York, Cambridge Univ. Press 1998), pp. 43-70.
  • "The Jewish American World of Gertrude Berg: The Goldbergs on Radio and Television, 1930-1950," in Talking Back: Representations of Jewish Women in American Popular Culture, ed. Joyce Antleer (Hanover: Univ. Press of New England, 1998), pp. 85-99; 260-63.
  • "'No Secrets Were Safe From Me': Situating Hanif Kureishi,"The Massachusetts Review 39 (1997), 119-35.
  • "Memory and Repression in Early Ethnic Television: The Example of Gertrude Berg and The Goldbergs," in The Other Fifties: Interrogating Midcentury American Icons, ed. Joel Foreman (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1996), pp. 144-67.
  • "Outsiders and Greenhorns: Christopher Newman in the Old World, David Levinsky in the New" American Literature 67 (1995), 725-36.
  • "From Limen to Border: A Meditation on the Legacy of Victor Turner for American Cultural Studies," American Quarterly 47 (1995), 525-36.
  • "Reconsidering the Hansend Thesis: Generational Metaphors and American Ethnic Studies," American Quarterly 43 (1991), 320-332.
  • "Historicizing the Errand," American Literary History 2 (1990), 101-18.

News Links

  • "A Jewish lens on South African apartheid,",May 06, 2010
  • "Weber Reviews New Kazin Bio," Office of Communications, February 4, 2008
  • "Questioning Authority: Donald Weber on Norman Mailer,"Office of Communications, November 19, 2007
  • "Weber Reviews David Mamet Book," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 1, 2006
  • "Weber Reviews Buruma," Chicago Tribune, September 10, 2006
  • "Faculty Honored for Teaching and Scholarship," Office of Communications, May 1, 2006
  • "Faculty Honored for Outstanding Work," Office of Communications, April 21, 2006
  • "A Whale of a Book About Herman Melville," Office of Communications, March 10, 2006 
  • "A Whale of a Book About Herman Melville," Chicago Tribune, November 6, 2005