Duke Center for Jewish Studies welcomes Grace Overbeke

Dr. Grace Overbeke

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Grace Kessler Overbeke as our Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow for 2019-20.

Dr. Overbeke works at the intersection of Jewish Studies and Theatre Studies.  She recently completed her dissertation on the life and work of Jean Carroll, the first Jewish female stand-up comedian—“the real Mrs. Maisel.”  This project developed out of her interests in female Jewish comedians and autobiographical performance among marginalized populations. 

Dr. Overbeke received her MA and PhD from Northwestern University's Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama program, and her BA in Theatre and English at Wesleyan University.  At Northwestern, she was the Crown Center for Jewish Studies fellow, and a Graduate Teaching fellow for the Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning.  She has published in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Studies in American Humor, the New England Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, and The Jewish Forward.  In addition to being a scholar of theatre; she is also a practicing dramaturg and director.

While at Duke, Dr. Overbeke will be working on expanding her research on Jean Caroll’s work, which will be the topic of her public lecture in the Fall; she will also be creating an manuscript from her ethnographic study on Jewish women and stereotypes found within the Jewish community.   In Spring 2020, she will teach an undergraduate course on Jewish Comedy.  After completing her year in Durham, Dr. Overbeke will join the faculty at Columbia College Chicago.

Please join us in welcoming Grace to Duke and Durham!  We are lucky to have her with us for the year!