Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, "Taverns, Vodka, and the Right to Drink: Jews and Slavs in the Ukrainian Market Towns of Jewish Life in East Europe"

Presented by the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine. Co-sponsored by the Centre of Jewish Studies, the Chair of Ukrainian Studies, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, and the Centre for Euroepan, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.

In the Slavic imagination, the Jew was a quintessential inn-keeper: cunning, but ready with low prices on high-quality vodka. The Jewish tavern was a multi-purpose shtetl institution, where Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, and Jews did deals, arranged marriages, heard and discussed news, listened to music, played billiards and cards—and smoked, drank, ate, and danced. Since liquor-trade revenues yielded a handsome income, both the Russian administration and Polish nobility did their best to control and tax liquor. Explore how the Jews in the shtetls outwitted the liquor monopolists and why for the shtetl dwellers of different creeds the right to drink turned into a quest for freedom.

Registration required.

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies Professor of Jewish History, Department of History, Northwestern University.

Date & Time
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 4:00pm

108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place