Hbook Podcast 1.29 - Special Guest Anastasia Collins

Podcast the 29th in which Roger and Siân chat with social work librarian and Horn Book reviewer Anastasia Collins about cultural (mis?)appropriation and bagels.

Books we talk about
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

People we talk about
Lionel Shriver
Toni Morrison

Lionel Shriver’s speech
New York Times article
Inappropriate Appropriation
The Reluctant Memoirist, Suki Kim
Rukhasana Khan's blog post
It’s Time To Call Out ‘Nice Racists’ And Their White Fragility
Roger’s facebook
A Short History of the Bagel
Reading While White On Ghosts and the “Magic” of Day of the Dead – scroll down to see Yuyi Morales’s comments
Chrissy Teigen and “oriental” dressing
Roger’s September editorial
Debbie Reese's Twitter
Siân Gaetano
Siân Gaetano
Siân Gaetano is assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc. Follow her on Twitter @KidLitChick.
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Siân Gaetano

Thanks to both of you for chiming in! And I agree with you, Sarah, a bagel is certainly not the perfect example for this situation.

Posted : Sep 21, 2016 01:36

Sarah Hamburg

Chiming in re: bagels. From my perspective, American Jews aren't suffering the after-effects of laws in the US that forbade us from eating bagels, or that took us from our homes and families to keep us from eating bagels. There aren't mascots of bagel-eating Jews in our schools now. We don't lose out on job opportunities, or face being fired for eating bagels. We don't get punished or graded down in school for eating bagels. Bagels also aren't sacred, even if they're really, really good. If the question were about Gentiles setting up gourmet matzo shops, that might be different. It would *certainly* be different if Gentiles started wearing the tallit in fashion shows. Or if they dressed up for Halloween with prosthetic noses and kippot. It would also be different if Gentiles published articles lecturing Jewish people on the "correct" way to eat bagels and lox. Or, say, if the children's books about the Holocaust that consistently won awards were by non-Jewish writers, about heroic Gentiles saving Jews... (Though I don't think that, overall, Jewish writers are limited in our access to publishing.) Again, the question isn't just about the pieces of culture (bagels), it's about the context of power and meaning.

Posted : Sep 19, 2016 09:59


Since you asked...I think you guys were spot on about how there are lots of ways to be Jewish and form Jewish identity (as I’m sure is true of many or most religions and cultures). For some people, food might form a larger portion (heh) of what being Jewish means to them than for others, though I doubt that it’s the whole, er, potato kugel for very many people. I’d also add that sharing food is a big part of Jewish culture, and so is humor, so I can’t imagine being offended by someone saying, “I love chicken soup; everyone says I’m Jewish,” unless the person seemed to believe that fully and sincerely. (And even then, I might roll my eyes privately, but I don't personally think I'd actually be hurt or angry. To each his/her #ownbagel.)

Posted : Sep 19, 2016 04:24


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