Yidishkayt: Yiddish Literature in English Translation


This course will trace the emergence, development, flourish, and near-decline of Yiddish literature, beginning with some of the earliest writings to appear in Yiddish in the late middle ages and early modern period, continuing with 19th-century attempts to establish a modern Yiddish literature and the 20th-century emergence of both a classical canon and a literary avant-garde, and ending with post-Holocaust attempts to retain a Yiddish literary culture in the near absence of Yiddish-speaking communities. Focusing on the role of Yiddish as the "national" language of Ashkenaz, the course will examine the ways in which Yiddish literature has responded to the social conditions of European Jewish life, exploring among others the relationship between Yiddish and the non-Jewish cultures in which it existed, the tensions between secular trends versus religious tradition, life in the shtetl and in the metropolis, immigration from the old world to the new, and Yiddish literary responses to the Holocaust.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM

Section 01

Yidishkayt: Yiddish Literature in English Translation
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