J. (SAN FRANCISCO) -- As Israeli TV series grow in popularity in the United States, Hulu has added to the offerings with “Juda,” a show about an Israeli vampire. On December 2, Vered Weiss, a visiting Israel Institute teaching fellow in the San Francisco State University Department of Jewish Studies, will discuss “Juda, Judaism and Vampirism,” her in-progress work on the 2016 show and its critique of Israeli society and identity. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Weiss has a master’s in Comparative and World Literature from SFSU and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.
“I’ve always felt empathy for monsters and otherness, which is what my research looks at, broadly,” Weiss said. “I’m currently writing specifically about how and why is it that we do feel empathy for monsters. When I first read Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’ I cried. It is a narrative of horrible loneliness that the creature has to endure as an other. This resonates with the Judaic tradition because Jews are so often the persecuted other. And also, monsters are cool.”