Jessica Roda (Georgetown University)
Mainstream portrayals of ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious women often frame their faith as oppressive: they are empowered only when they leave their community. Jessica Roda flips this notion on its head. Drawing on six years of fieldwork between New York and Montreal, Jessica Roda examines modern performances on the stage and screen directed by and for ultra-Orthodox women. Their incredibly vibrant Jewish artistic scenes defy stereotypes that paint these women as repressed, reclusive to their shtetl (village), and devoid of creativity and agency.