Mameloshn: An Introduction to Yiddish Literature and Culture

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Course ID: 40421
Location: On Campus

The goal of this course is to see how a language which the rabbis once approved for use in reaching "women and those men who are like women" created a far-flung world of its own. We will begin with the role of Yiddish and Yiddish literature in premodern Jewish societies, then focus on the development of modern Yiddish literature and culture beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century. We will read some of the work of several generations of writers and poets in Eastern Europe and North America and also look at popular culture: newspapers, theater, film, radio, and music. We will conclude by examining what Jeff Shandler has called "postvernacular Yiddish culture" that has emerged over the past several decades. All readings will be in English, though there will be some opportunities for reading Yiddish too.