Y. L. Peretz (1852-1915) is known as the father of modern Yiddish literature. This lecture will focus on the last ten years of his career when, amidst a burgeoning new secular Jewish culture, Peretz sought a new vision of Jewish identity.
This lecture is the first in a 3 part lecture series by Michael Steinlauf, the Jacob Kronhill Visiting Scholar in Yiddish Culture.
Director of the Gratz Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program, Dr. Michael C. Steinlauf holds an M.A. in Literature from Columbia University and a doctorate in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. He is the author of Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust (1997), which examines how the experience of witnessing the Holocaust shaped Polish history and consciousness in the half century after World War II. He was a contributing editor to the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by Yale University Press in 2008, and the editor of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, v. 16 (2003), the first collection of studies focusing on Jewish popular culture in Poland and its contemporary afterlife. His writings have been translated into Hebrew, Polish, German and Italian. Professor Steinlauf has also been active in various kinds of Jewish memory work in Poland. He has lectured at the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival and the University of Warsaw, taught in the Musicians’ Raft program organized by the Borderlands Foundation in Sejny, Poland, and served as chief historical advisor and curator of modern Jewish culture for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will open in Warsaw in 2013. He is currently at work on a study of the Yiddish writer and activist Y. L. Peretz.
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