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Call for Applications for “The Yiddish Object: A Mayrent Institute Graduate Seminar”

May 2 - May 3

The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison invites graduate students to its inaugural spring research seminar. The theme for this year’s symposium is “The Yiddish Object.” The title—and the word “object,” in particular—intends to raise a series of salient questions about the shape, scope, and goals of contemporary Yiddish studies. What is the object of Yiddish studies? What does it mean to objectify Yiddish as a distinct area of inquiry? What is the place of the material object in Yiddish studies? And what, if anything, does Yiddish object to? The purpose of this seminar will be to think about the way the multivalent term “object” can orient our thinking about the stakes of Yiddish studies as an interdisciplinary field.

Students will explore these questions and ideas over the course of two days—Sunday, May 2 to Monday, May 3, 2021—via Zoom. Each day, students will meet for two sessions led by scholars of Yiddish studies including Professors Jeffrey Shandler, Barbara Mann, and Isaac Bleaman.  Sessions will be conducted in English and Yiddish. Students of Yiddish at all levels are welcome.

Cover of Yankev Glatshteyn’s poetry collection, Kre­dos (New York: Farlag Yidish Lebn, 1929).

To participate in the program, please send your CV, brief biography (max 150 words), and application statement (max 400 words) to Professor Sunny Yudkoff (yudkoff@wisc.edu) by March 5, 2021.  Your application statement should indicate your interest in the subject. It should also include three questions that the idea of “the Yiddish object” raises for you in light of your own research concerns.

Students at all levels of graduate work and in all disciplines are welcome. Spots may be limited depending on interest. Participants will be asked to prepare readings in advance.

The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture is an undertaking of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This event is co-sponsored by the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies.


May 2
May 3