The Anna and Max Webb Family Chair for Visiting Scholars in Yiddish
Eugene Orenstein served as chairman of the Department of Jewish Studies at McGill University.for four terms and held the rank of Associate Professor, specializing in the area of modern Jewish social and intellectual history, with particular emphasis on the Jewish labor and socialist movement in Eastern Europe and North America and the development of modern Yiddish culture. Among his publications are the chapter on Yiddish culture in Canada in The Canadian Jewish Mosaic; numerous bio-bibliographical studies in Der leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur ("Biographical Dictionary of Modern Yiddish Literature"); articles in Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, the biography of Herman Kruk and the analysis of his "Diary of the Vilna Ghetto," in the Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature (The St. James Press, 2002), and the article on "Yiddish Dailies [in Canada] in History of the Book in Canada, Vol. II (University of Toronto Press, 2005). A number of his articles appear in the second, extensively revised edition of The Encyclopedia Judaica, 2007. He is also the English translator of the first half of Raphael Mahler's Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment in Galicia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1984) and served as an editorial consultant for the new YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Yale University Press, 2008.
In addition to his work at McGill University, he has been Guest Professor of Yiddish Language and Literature at the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Studies, the Summer Program in Yiddish Studies at the Postgraduate Centre for Hebrew Studies, Oxford University; at University College, London and at the Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilization, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He has lectured on a wide range of historical and literary topics across North America, in Europe, Israel and Australia.
Professor Orenstein will give Yiddish language instruction to the most advanced students at the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program at Tel Aviv University in the summer of 2012.
Marc Caplan, the Zelda and Myer Tandetnik Professor in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Johns Hopkins University. Earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. His primary interest as a scholar is to place the study of Yiddish literature in comparative contexts. In his recent publication, How Strange the Change: Language, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernism (Stanford University Press, 2011), He undertakes an unprecedented comparison of nineteenth-century Yiddish literature and twentieth-century Anglophone and Francophone African literature and reveals unexpected similarities between them. Through comparative readings of narratives by Reb Nakhman of Breslov, Amos Tutuola, Yisroel Aksenfeld, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Isaac Meyer Dik, Camara Laye, Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Wole Soyinka, Y. Y. Linetski, and Ahmadou Karouma, Caplan demonstrates that these literatures' "belated" relationship to modernization suggests their potential to anticipate subsequent crises in the modernity and post-modernity of metropolitan cultures. This, in turn, leads him to propose a new theoretical model, peripheral modernism, which incorporates both a new understanding of "periphery" and "center" in modernity and a new methodology for comparative literary criticism and theory.
Professor Caplan gave two very different talks at the Goldreich Institute: On March 19 he talked about "Belated Beginnings: Modernity in Early Yiddish Comedy and Nigerian Market Literature", while on March 20 he conducted a workshop in Yiddish on Joseph Optoshu's book Lintsheray.
Gilles Rozier was born in Grenoble in 1963. He graduated of Essec business "Grande école" in 1984 and started learning Yiddish in 1986 at the Hebrew University. He continued his Yiddish studies in Paris with Yitskhok Niborski and Rachel Ertel and in Jerusalem with Avraham Nowershtern and Chone Shmeruk. He completed his PhD in Yiddish literature on the life, literary work, and the cultural activity of the Yiddish writer Moyshe Broderzon.
Since 1994 Gilles Rozier serves as the director of the Medem Yiddish library in Paris. His first novel in French was published in 1999. In 2006 he created Gilgulim, a Yiddish literary magazine.
He published Yiddish poems in Di Pen (Oxford), in the Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem), and in Toplpunkt (Tel Aviv). In 1999 he also published a bilingual Yiddish-French anthology of Broderzon's poems.
Gilles Rozier's novels include Un amour sans résistance (translated into Love without Resistance in Great Britain and into The Mercy Room in the US), La Promesse d'Oslo, which has been translated up to now into Dutch and German, and Projections privées. His most recent novel, D'un pays sans amour, deals with the lives of three Yiddish poets in Warsaw in the 1920s and will be published in six languages including Hebrew.
Shachar Pinsker is Associate Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture at the Near Eastern Studies Department and the Judaic Studies Program. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Ben-Gurion and the Hebrew Universities. Prof. Pinsker is the author of Literary
Passports: The Making of Modernist Hebrew Fiction in Europe (Stanford University Press, 2010), and the co-editor of Hebrew, Gender and Modernity (University of Maryland Press, 2007). He has published numerous articles and chapters in academic journals and books dealing with Hebrew and Yiddish literature and culture.
Professor Pinsker is currently working on a book that considers the complex role of Yiddish in Israeli literature and culture, and a book on Cafés and Modern Jewish culture in Europe, America and Israel. At the Goldreich Institute he gave a guest lecture this subject, and took part in a symposium on Yiddish and Hebrew writing in Berlin and Tel Aviv.
Matan Hermoni is a doctoral student of Hebrew Literature at the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. He studied Hebrew and comparative literature at Tel Aviv University and Beer Sheva and wrote his masters thesis on Hebrew Literature in America. Currently he teaches courses on Yiddish and Hebrew literature at Ben Gurion University and is writing a doctoral thesis on "The Idea of America in the Jewish National Thought and Literature".
Matan Hermoni has recently translated works by authors Moishe Leyb Halpern, Moishe Nadir and Isaac Bashevis Singer. He has published a reader's guide on Sholem Aleichem in Hebrew and a textbook on Hebrew literature in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries for the Open University.
In 2012 Matan Hermoni was shortlisted for the prestigious Sapir Price for Hebrew Literature for his debut novel The Hebrew Publishing Company.
As a junior visiting scholar of the Anna and Max Webb Family Chair for Visiting Scholars in Yiddish, Mr Hermoni taught a course on Jewish writings in America at the turn of the 20th century, crosslisted in both the Department for General BA-studies and the Department of English and American Studies.
David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Professor in Yiddish Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary. A native of Montreal and a graduate of the Jewish People's School, Prof. Roskies received his academic training at the Hebrew University and at Brandeis, where he received his doctorate in 1975. In 1981 (with Alan Mintz) he co-founded Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History which he co-edited for over twenty years. Since 1998 he has been serving as Editor-in-Chief of the New Yiddish Library. In 1984, Harvard University Press published his Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture, which won the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from Phi Beta Kappa, and has since been translated into Russian and Hebrew. A companion volume, The Literature of Destruction, appeared in 1989. Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, Mr. Roskies began studying the modern Jewish return to folklore and fantasy. Among his publications are also The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky (1992), A Bridge of Longing: The Lost Art of Yiddish Storytelling (1995), The Jewish Search for a Usable Past (1999). His most recent book is entitled Yiddishlands: A Memoir.
Roy Greenwald is a doctoral student of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He studied German and Yiddish literature and language at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he wrote his masters thesis on "Lamed Shapiro's pogrom stories". He also participated in the Yiddish program for training teachers at the Maison de la Culture Yiddish Bibliothèque Medem in Paris. Currently he teaches courses on Yiddish and Hebrew as well as courses on general literature at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem.
Roy Greenwald is also a translator of Yiddish, French, and German literature into Hebrew. He has translated works by authors and poets such as Avrom Sutzkever, Anna Margolin, Peretz Markish, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Robert Walser.
As a junior visiting scholar of The Anna and Max Webb Family Chair for Visiting Scholars in Yiddish, Mr. Greenwald taught a course on "Portrait of a Catastrophe: Modernist Yiddish Literature", in the Department of Literature.
Dan Miron is a leading authority on Hebrew literature, the Leonard B. Kaye Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature in the department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, and recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize. His influential books (more than twenty, in both Hebrew and English) study most of the prominent Hebrew and Yiddish authors, fiction writers, and poets since the revival of Hebrew literature in the nineteenth century. As an editor-scholar, he is responsible for some of the most important literary collections to be published in Hebrew in the previous century, including collections of Bialik's poems and Gnessin's stories. His latest book, From the Worm a Butterfly Emerges , is a spell-binding examination of the life and work of young Nathan Alterman. Over the past two years, Professor Miron has taught seminars on the Yiddish-Hebrew bilingualism of the classic Hebrew writers and on the poetry of Yankev Glatshteyn, courses that were funded by the Goldreich Institute. During the 2007-2008 academic year, Professor Miron will be The Anna and Max Webb Family Chair for Visiting Scholars in Yiddish Studies, and will be teaching a course on Yiddish Literature in America during the first half of the twentieth century. These seminars at Tel Aviv University have been crosslisted in both the Department of Literature and the Department of English and American Studies.
Anita Norich is the former Executive Director of the Frankel Center of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan where she teaches Yiddish literatue at the Center as well as at the Department of English Literature and Language. She received her PhD from Columbia University, was a Fellow at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, and a Lady Davis post-doctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of: The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer; Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Culture During the Holocaust, and co-editor of Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literatures. Professor Norich's lecture series on Yiddish-American Poetry during the Yiddish summer seminar was highly appreciated by the students.
Michael F. Stanislawski, the Nathan J. Miller Professor of Jewish History at Columbia University, obtained his B.A. (1973), M.A. (1975) Ph.D. (1979) from Harvard University, and has been at Columbia since 1980. His dissertation, Tsar Nicholas I and the Jews: The Transformation of Jewish Society in Russia, 1825-1855 was published in 1983. Other notable books by Stanislawski include Zionism and the Fin de Siècle: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky (2001), For Whom Do I Toil?: Judah Leib Gordon and the Crisis of Russian Jewry (1988), Autobiographical Jews (2004), and, most recently, A Murder in Lemberg (2007), which chronicles the murder of a reformist rabbi by an Orthodox Jew in the Ukranian city of Lemberg. Stanislawski is credited as being a key intellectual in the transformation of Jewish historiography that has "embedded the narrative about the Jews in the context of Enlightenment thought, national politics, and the treatment of minorities generally."
In July 2007, Professor Stanislawski was the first chair holder of The Anna and Max Webb Family Chair for Visiting Scholars in Yiddish Studies, and gave three public talks in English and in Yiddish: "Shakespeare in Yiddish", "Fun Sholem Aleykhem tsu 'Fidler afn dakh': emes un mitologye", and "On Manger's 'Khumesh-lider'".