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Stephen Whitfield to Deliver Sonenshine Lecture

Stephen Whitfield, Richter Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University, will deliver the Helen and Daniel Sonenshine Endowed Lecture in Jewish Studies on "Making America Harmonious: Jewish Composers and Popular Song" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 18, in room 1012 of Old Dominion University's Batten Arts and Letters Building.

Whitfield will discuss the sublime legacy of Jewish composers in American music of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood, and will explore how the music that stemmed from the creativity and ambition of the children of Jewish immigrants, from Irving Berlin and George Gershwin to Rodgers and Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein, united Americans in a common musical culture and extended the idea of the nation that was affirmative and inclusive.

Whitfield, an expert on 20th-century American cultural and political history, is the author of eight books including "American Space," "Jewish Time" and "In Search of American Jewish Culture." He is especially interested in the intersection of politics and ideas, and has written on American radicalism, civil rights, Cold War culture and American Jewry.

His lecture, sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding (IJIU), is free and open to the public.

For more information about the lecture or other IJIU programs and events, contact Kelly Duggins at kduggins@odu.edu or 683-3931.

This article was posted on: May 15, 2009

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