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Built on Scrap Part II – Scrapping Stereotypes: Perceptions of the Industry in Pop Culture (Virtual)

Date(s) - Wednesday, January 26th
7:00 pm CST - 8:00 pm CST


dsc0801-version-2From the silent-film era onward, scrap dealers have shown up in films and TV shows like Born YesterdayThe Apprenticeship of Duddy KravitzSanford and Son, and the DC Comics character “Ragman.” While the earliest depictions of scrap dealers often relied on antisemitic stereotypes, later portrayals revealed more complex characters, sometimes realistic and sometimes fantastic.

Join Jonathan Pollack, Honorary Fellow of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to find out if all scrap dealers in popular culture were Jewish, why they are laden with stereotypes, and how to understand these portrayals in a more dynamic way.

Register to get access to the Zoom session.
This program is free and open to the public. 
Please consider donating whatever amount you can to support the Museum’s mission.


Funded in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In connection with Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, October 8, 2021 – January 30, 2022.

About the Presenter
Jonathan Z. S. Pollack is the Chair of the History Department at Madison Area Technical College. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1999. He is the author of  Wisconsin, The New Home of the Jew: 150 Years of Jewish Life at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, self-published in 2019, and the co-editor of The Voice of the People: Primary Sources on the History of American Labor, Industrial Relations, and Working-Class Culture, published by Harlan Davidson in 2004. Pollack has been a consultant on Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling for its initial run at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and he’s also consulted for the exhibit’s Milwaukee showing. He is the author of two articles and numerous presentations on the history of Jewish scrap dealers, and he is the descendant of scrap dealers in southern Ohio.

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