Reading Yiddish Literature in a Time of National Reckoning, A Panel Discussion Moderated by Rachel Rubinstein

A Live, Online Event Recorded Via Zoom on October 15, 2020

Generations of Yiddish writers described racial injustice in America, their adopted home, taking on slavery, lynching, segregation, and everyday casual racism as literary subjects. America is once again confronting its long history and present reality of racial violence in a renewed wave of protests and calls for justice. What can the Yiddish writing of previous generations of protest reveal to us about our own moment? Join our panel of translators and scholars in a conversation about race and social justice in Yiddish literature.

Panelists and Moderator Bios

Dr. Rachel Rubinstein is the author of Members of The Tribe: Native America in the Jewish Imagination (2010) and co-editor with Roberta Rosenberg of the volume Teaching Jewish American Literature (2020). She is currently the vice president of academic and student affairs at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. Her current research examines Yiddish, translation, and racial formation in the Americas.

Jessica Kirzane is the assistant instructional professor of Yiddish at the University of Chicago and the editor-in-chief of In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies. She was a 2017 Translation Fellow and 2018 Pedagogy Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. Kirzane is the translator of Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, 2020). Kirzane translated Joseph Opatoshu's "A Lynching."

Alyssa Quint is the Leon Charney Visiting Fellow at Yeshiva University and the editor of the history section at Tablet Magazine. She is the author of The Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and she is a co-editor of two forthcoming volumes on the Yiddish theater, an edited work of essays and translations called Women on the Yiddish Stage and a critical edition of a legendary Yiddish operetta called Shulamis. Her articles, lectures, and a new exhibit called A Tale of Two Museums can be found online at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Digital Yiddish Theater Project, and Tablet Magazine.

Amelia Glaser teaches in the literature department at UC San Diego, where she also directs the Jewish studies program and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies program. Her most recent book, Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine, will come out November, 2020, with Harvard University Press. She is also the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands (Northwestern UP, 2012), the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian Cossack Uprising (Stanford UP, 2015), the coeditor, with Steven S. Lee, of Comintern Aesthetics (U. Toronto Press, 2020), and the translator of Proletpen: America’s Rebel Yiddish Poets (U Wisconsin Press, 2005). 

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