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The Merchant of Venice: Ghetto

The Dybbukast, Season 4, Episode 1: The Merchant of Venice: Ghetto

Season 4, Episode 1

In this episode, presented in collaboration with the George Washington University Department of History, we examine the history of the word “ghetto" and look at ways that ideas contained in Shakespeare's play overlap with and deviate from that history.

Dr. Daniel Schwartz, Professor of Jewish History at GW, guides us through this exploration, sharing some of the concepts contained in his book, Ghetto: The History of a Word.

This is the first in a three episode series connected to concepts that intersect with theatre dybbuk's most recent theatrical work, The Merchant of Venice (Annotated), or In Sooth I Know Not Why I Am So Sad. That production combines text from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice with Elizabethan history and news from 2020 to the present. In doing so, it seeks to illuminate how, during times of upheaval, some people may place blame for their anxieties on an “other."

Read the transcript for "The Merchant of Venice: Ghetto."


Hosted by Aaron Henne

Scholarship provided by Daniel Schwartz, PhD

Edited by Mark McClain Wilson

Story editing by Julie A. Lockhart with Aaron Henne

Featuring the voices of Joe Jordan, Adam Lebowitz-Lockard, Julie A. Lockhart, Inger Tudor, and Jonathan C.K. Williams

Theme music composed by Michael Skloff and produced by Sam K.S.

Transcription by Dylan Southard

"The Merchant of Venice: Ghetto" Learning Resources

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With an unparalleled location in the nation's capital, award-winning faculty and access to some of the most important research repositories in the world, the Department of History at George Washington University explores the past in ways that inform and give meaning to the present.


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